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Obama signs Export-Import Bank reauth bill.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed legislation into law reauthorizing the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which enables U.S. companies-particularly small exporters--to sell their goods overseas by providing financing for exports. Specifically, the law renews the charter of Ex-Im Bank for three years and increases the Bank's lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion.

The compromise, crafted by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), was approved by the House 330 to 93 and in the Senate 78 to 20, earlier this month amid resistance from conservatives who argued that the Bank distorts the market.

The Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011 (H.R. 2072) authorizes Ex-Im Bank for three years during which time its exposure cap will gradually increase starting at $120 billion in 2012 and topping out at $140 billion in 2014, provided certain default requirements are met. The measure also includes increased transparency and reporting on the part of Ex-Im Bank on myriad topics, including the Bank's small-business services.

At the bill signing, Obama said the move will help thousands of businesses sell their products and services overseas and help them create jobs at home. He went on to say the independent federal agency is a key factor toward reaching his goal of doubling exports over five years.

The Bank provides much-needed financing and credit insurance to small businesses and has been expanding and improving its small-business programs. For FY 2011, Ex-Im Bank set a record in its support of small business at $6 billion--an increase of more than 20 percent since 2010, and the new law includes specific language to continue enhancing small-business exporting.

According to a White House fact sheet, Ex-Im Bank authorizations last year reached $32.7 billion, supporting $40 billion in export sales and 290,000 American jobs at more than 3,600 U.S. companies.

Renewing the Bank's charter provides much-needed certainty and predictability to U.S. exporters and their employees. Ex-Im plays an important role in helping U.S. small businesses create American jobs and sell their products around the world.

NSBA and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA), played an integral role in the bill's passage. NSBA President Todd McCracken, NSBA First Vice Chair and past SBEA Chair David Ickert and Senior Director of Government Affairs Jody Milanese attended yesterday's bill signing ceremony.

NSBA and SBEA applaud President Obama for signing this bill into law.
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Publication:The Weekly Advocate e-Newsletter
Date:May 31, 2012
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