Findings Show Global Impacts on Official Medium- and Long-Term Export Credit Activity Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Significant Progress for EXIM Following 2019 Reauthorization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2021
Office of Communications (202-565-3204)
WASHINGTON – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) today released its 2020 Report to the U.S. Congress on Global Export Credit Competition (Competitiveness Report), which covers the 2020 calendar year.
Total volumes of official MLT export credit support were down across the globe in 2020, including those provided by the world’s largest export credit provider, the People’s Republic of China. The COVID-19 pandemic was a prime contributor to both the noticeable drop in MLT activity by global export credit agencies (ECAs) and the significant use of short-term support and increase in working capital support to domestic industries.
In 2020, the top five countries providing official MLT export credit were China ($18 billion), France ($12.1 billion), Germany ($8.6 billion), Italy ($8.4 billion), and Korea ($5 billion). In support of U.S. exports, EXIM authorized $1.8 billion in official MLT export credit financing.
“EXIM is on the pathway back to being a leader in export credit and providing the nature and scale of official MLT export credit needed to give U.S. exporters and U.S. interests a fair shot at trade opportunities in the years ahead. During a global pandemic, EXIM showed resilience and agility in responding to U.S. exporters and enacting key reforms,” said EXIM Acting Vice President and Vice Chairman James C. Cruse.
He noted that in 2020, EXIM implemented several reforms from the 2019 congressional reauthorization package, including expanding support for and engagement with small businesses, renewable-energy projects, and minority- and women-owned businesses. Cruse also noted that the report demonstrates that the United States must work to keep pace with other official export credit providers who have fundamentally evolved their philosophies to focus on whole-of-government approaches to export financing. “This reality will require continued progress on all of EXIM’s strategic priorities and a fresh look at how the steps taken in 2020 can inform the agency’s actions in the future, including examining domestic financing opportunities in support of greater U.S. exports,” he added.
Key findings from the report include:
- China’s Volume of Official MLT Export Credit Financing is Down but Still Dominant: In 2020, estimates suggest that China’s official MLT export credit support appeared to decrease from just over $33 billion in 2019 to $18 billion in 2020, but its volumes remain significantly higher than all other major providers.
- OECD and Non-OECD Activity: The MLT export credit volumes of the ECAs of member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and major non-OECD ECAs (such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, known as the BRICS) were down. BRICs official MLT export credit activity decreased by approximately 50 percent while OECD ECA official MLT export credit activity decreased by only about 20 percent. Conversely, trade-related (unregulated) support offered by OECD and non-OECD countries increased, reducing the proportion of OECD Arrangement (regulated) activity to roughly 30 percent of total export and trade-related financing in 2020.
- Global COVID-19 Impact and Expanded ECA Roles: The COVID-19 crisis led many governments to call on their ECAs to serve as a tool to help boost economic growth while their economies struggled, for example, by directing ECAs to take steps meant to support broader export promotion in 2020 and expand programmatic offerings beyond traditional export credit support.
- Emergence of Sustainable Finance: An emerging trend and driver in 2020 is the emergence of sustainable finance as a focus of ECA support. As governments around the world strengthen efforts to fight climate change and support companies driving innovation within the global energy transition, many ECAs made efforts to prepare for greener portfolios and to restrict new commitments for carbon-intensive projects.
- Importance of Whole-of-Government Approach: The U.S. export community is placing increasing importance on ECAs and other government agencies working together as part of a whole-of-government approach for individual projects in emerging and developing markets in order to unlock official financing packages involving multiple government agencies and to create more competitive offerings.
EXIM’s Competitiveness Report aggregates input from U.S. exporters and lenders as well as EXIM’s counterparts from other countries and comprehensively analyzes official export credit and trade-related finance provided last year by governments around the world. The report includes a worldwide survey of official medium- and long-term (MLT) export credit provided between January 1 and December 31, 2020, and an account of U.S. exporter and lender experiences with EXIM during that period. The report meets the agency’s statutory requirement to report on how well EXIM was able to provide financing that is competitive with other major foreign government providers of export credit and enable U.S. companies to be competitive in global export sales.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.