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Importance of U.S. Competitiveness is Center Stage at Export-Import Bank Annual Conference

Chairman Hochberg responds to Bank critics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 11, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Jamie Radice (202-565-3200)

Washington, D.C. - President Bill Clinton today gave the keynote address at the Export-Import Bank of the United States' (Ex-Im Bank) 37th annual conference, Ex-Im -Your Competitive Edge. More than 1,200 people were in attendance, including U.S. exporters, domestic and international lenders, brokers, foreign buyers, and prominent members of the business and government community. President Clinton also addressed Ex-Im's annual conference in 1993 while in office.

We are honored to have President Clinton address our annual conference to highlight the important role Ex-Im plays in helping businesses - both large and small - succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy, said Fred P. Hochberg, the chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. Having a strong Ex-Im Bank is critical to leveling the playing field and ensuring that American businesses are judged solely on the quality of their products. We need more 'Made in the U.S.A' labels on products around the world, and Ex-Im can help make that happen.

In his opening remarks, Hochberg said, Some in Washington think government has no role to play in helping our companies compete abroad. They think we should stand down as American companies compete with foreign companies backed by foreign governments. They think we should disarm in the middle of an economic arms race. He went on to say, There are times in life when 'one day at a time' makes sense. This is NOT one of those times. If we want an economy built to last, we need an Export-Import Bank authorized not just for a few months or for a year. We need exactly what President Obama is asking for: A full four-year authorization with a $140 billion lending cap.

Leaders from the business and government community in attendance today include Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama; Dave Cote, chairman and CEO, Honeywell International Inc.; Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; and James Fallows, national correspondent, The Atlantic.

Presenters on the second day of the conference will include Commerce Secretary John Bryson; Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; David Rhodes, president, CBS News; David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group; and Andrew Liveris, chief executive office, Dow Chemical. A full list of participants at Friday's conference session is available online.

The conference also featured a special Business Speed Networking session that brought together foreign buyers and American sellers for one-on-one introductory meetings aimed to facilitate deal making. Participants also met with Ex-Im Bank staff and other U.S. government representatives to obtain detailed information about export finance and trade products and programs.

About Ex-Im Bank:

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.