CEE Commentary

Export Credit Financing Marches on Without U.S. Ex-Im Bank

Almost one year into the Trump Administration the Ex-Im Bank remains without a Board quorum and unable to support export transactions over $10 million. The Bank has more than $35 billion in export transactions over $10 million on hold in its pipeline, even though it has lost as much as $5 billion in exports that have been diverted by their buyers away from U.S. manufacturers in favor of their offshore competitors.

Progress on a Bank Board quorum has been made, with four Board nominees: Kimberly Reed, as First Vice President, and Spencer Bachus, Judith Pryor, and Claudia Slacik, as Board members, were approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in December 2017, while the Administration’s nominee to be Bank President, Scott Garrett, was defeated in Committee.

However, with the resignation of C.J. Hall last Fall as Acting President of the Bank, the Bank presently has only one current member of the Board, Scott Schloegel, Acting First Vice President. So at least two prospective Board members (other than Kimberly Reed, who would only replace Scott Schloegel) must obtain Senate approval for the Bank Board to obtain a quorum and become operational.

With regard to the position of Bank President and Chairman, the administration may utilize the process set forth under the Vacancy Act and name someone, other than one of the Nominees and with at least nine months of experience with Bank operations, to the position of Acting President, or nominate someone else to the position and move them through the Nomination process to formally take the position of President and Chairman.

U.S. exporters are encouraged that the administration is moving forward to fully reopen the Bank, but urges it to move aggressively in January to get the Bank fully operational again.