EXIM Chairman Reed: “Our approach to the People’s Republic of China throughout this administration has been very strong and very significant. Our country is in a much stronger position now, and I hope that President-elect Biden will continue this effort.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 20, 2021
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WASHINGTON – Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed on Monday participated in an interview with Reuters and urged the incoming Biden Administration to continue to counter the unfair trade practices from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) via EXIM’s Program on China and Transformational Exports (China Program).
The China Program was established as part of EXIM’s historic 2019 Congressional reauthorization. Under the Program, Congress directs EXIM to provide financial products to neutralize export subsidies offered by the PRC, helping to ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses and workers as they compete globally.
Chairman Reed also discussed some of EXIM’s successes for U.S. workers and throughout the world, including expanding U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa, and EXIM’s approval of $4.7 billion in assistance for the construction of a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique – a transaction which displaced Chinese and Russian financing.
By: Andrea Shalal & David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) on Monday urged the Biden administration to keep pushing to neutralize Chinese export subsidies and help U.S. companies compete, building on gains made under Donald Trump.
Chairman Kimberly Reed, a political appointee who will leave her job on Wednesday after 20 months in office, told Reuters she was confident that restoration of the bank’s full lending powers had strengthened the competitiveness of U.S. companies and helped level the playing field, but more work was needed.
Republicans in Congress tried to shutter the institution in 2015, arguing that it was “corporate welfare” for big exporters such as Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar.
They kept EXIM from financing major projects such as power plants and commercial aircraft for four years by blocking board nominations until Trump reversed his previous opposition to the Bank and supported it, working with Democrats in Congress.
At the end of 2019, EXIM had secured a seven-year reauthorization, the longest in its 87-year history, as part of a spending bill that won strong bipartisan support.
Reed leaves the bank with a pipeline of some $39 billion in projects that will support some 147,000 jobs, and expressed confidence that President-elect Joe Biden understood the challenges posed by China, which often offers aggressive financing terms to clinch big business deals.
The Trump administration focused heavily on pushing back against Chinese gains in technology and trade, using EXIM financing as a way to make inroads in countries that had become heavily reliant on trade with China.
“Our approach to the People’s Republic of China throughout this administration has been very strong and very significant,” Reed said. “Our country is in a much stronger position now, and I hope that President-elect Biden will continue this effort.”
Reed said U.S. companies faced increasingly intense competition - with 116 countries now having their own export credit agencies, up from 85 in 2016 - but global buyers had told her they were pleased to see EXIM was again backing deals.
The new congressionally mandated China program calls for EXIM to dedicate 20% of its total financing authority, or $27 billion, to provide loans, guarantees and insurance at rates and terms that are competitive with those offered by Beijing.
Key sectors targeted for this financing include artificial intelligence, biotechnology, wireless communications equipment, including 5G, quantum computing, water treatment, and renewable energy, as well as emerging financial technologies, she said.
In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, EXIM authorized a total of $5.4 billion to support more than $10.8 billion of U.S. exports and some 37,000 U.S. jobs, according to the bank’s annual report, which is to be released Tuesday.
EXIM’s approval in 2019 of one of the biggest deals in its history - $4.7 billion in assistance for a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique - had also displaced China and Russia, which had been poised to finance the deal, Reed said.
EXIM also focused on boosting exports of U.S. goods and services to sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the information and communications technology, health care and agriculture sectors, the EXIM report said.
Big projects included $91.5 million in loan guarantees to support the export of design engineering and construction services to Senegal, a deal that will help bring electricity to some 330,000 people in more than 400 villages, Reed said.
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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 and keeps America strong 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.