FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 27, 1997
Ken Murphy or Judy Katz Nath (202) 565-3200
Washington, D.C.: President Bill Clinton signed into law, November 26, 1997, legislation extending the Export-Import Bank of the United States' (Ex-Im Bank) charter through September 30, 2001. Earlier this month, Congress gave overwhelming and bi-partisan approval to Ex-Im Bank's four-year reauthorization which will continue Ex-Im Bank's efforts to promote U.S. exports to emerging and developing markets.
The strong support Ex-Im Bank has received from the President and Congress is both appreciated and encouraging, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said. It is also important to note that business and labor recognized the important role Ex-Im Bank plays in supporting exports and jobs in their communities across the country. Their efforts in educating and informing Congress about Ex-Im Bank's mission led to the overwhelming, bi-partisan support our reauthorization received.
Ex-Im Bank, the nation's official export credit agency, levels the playing field for U.S. businesses seeking to enter challenging markets by providing financing for U.S. exports that is not available in the private market. It does not compete against private lenders.
Ex-Im Bank began a successful small business outreach program in 1993 that has transformed the bank into an important small business export assistance agency. In Fiscal Years 1996 and 1997, more than 80 percent of Ex-Im Bank's transactions financed small and medium-sized businesses.
We are proud of our efforts to assist small businesses and plan to build upon the success that has led to innovative programs and partnerships that have increased Ex-Im Bank's support to small and medium-sized businesses 60 percent in the last four years, Harmon said.
Since 1993, Ex-Im Bank has supported nearly 11,000 transactions with $65.5 billion in authorized financing that has benefited more than 2,000 communities nationally. Ex-Im Bank's financing annually sustains an estimated 200,000 jobs directly among exporters and suppliers, and another one million jobs indirectly among subsuppliers.