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Friday, March 5, 2010

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Shayerah Ilias
Analyst in International Trade and Finance

The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) is the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. (For additional information, see the Bank's Internet site: With an annual budget of around $200 million, the Bank finances less than 1% of U.S. exports a year. Ex-Im Bank provides loan guarantees and insurance to commercial banks to make trade credits available to U.S. exporters. The Bank also offers direct financing to U.S. exporters, primarily to counter subsidized trade credits offered to foreign exporters by their governments. 

On December 20, 2006, President Bush signed P.L. 109-438, to reauthorize the Bank's authority through September 30, 2011. Since the FY2008 appropriations, Ex-Im Bank has been a "selfsustaining" agency for appropriations purposes. The Bank funds it administrative and program costs through fee income generated from its financing programs. 

On December 16, 2009, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-17), which authorized a limit of $58 million on the total amount that Ex-Im Bank can spend on its loan, guarantees, and insurance programs and a limit of $83.88 million for the Bank's administrative expenses. In addition, under the legislation, offsetting collections in excess of obligations are to be available for use in the following three fiscal years. For FY2011, the President requested a limit of $92.7 million on the total about the Bank can spend on its loan, guarantees, and insurance programs and a limit of $105.6 million for the Bank's administrative expenses, a significant increase from the FY2010 budget request. 

Date of Report: February 25, 2010
Number of Pages: 14
Order Number: 98-568
Price: $29.95

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