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Obama Signs Bill Reauthorizing Export-Import Bank

Fri June 01, 2012 - National Edition
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Ex-Im Bank's lending regulations stipulate that the vast majority of bank transactions must go to small businesses.
Ex-Im Bank's lending regulations stipulate that the vast majority of bank transactions must go to small businesses.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has signed legislation that renews the charter of the Export-Import Bank for three years and increases the bank’s lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion. The bank is the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales.

Obama says the move will help thousands of businesses sell their products and services overseas and help them create jobs at home.

The president says the independent federal agency is a key factor toward reaching his goal of doubling exports over five years.

Lawmakers passed the legislation earlier this month amid resistance from conservatives who argued that the bank distorts the market. The bank had support from numerous business groups.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) congratulated Members of Congress and President Obama for passing the Export -Import Bank Reauthorization of 2012 and signing it into law.

"Funding from Ex-Im Bank not only helps U.S. manufacturers grow but also has generated more than $3.4 billion for the American taxpayer since 2005," stated AEM President Dennis Slater.

Ex-Im Bank’s lending regulations stipulate that the vast majority of bank transactions must go to small businesses. In fact, 87 percent of the bank’s transactions have gone to small businesses, and Ex-Im Bank provided more than $6 billion in financing and insurance to small businesses in Fiscal Year 2011 alone.

AEM noted that Ex-Im Bank’s commitment to assisting small businesses is crucial, as large financial institutions are often unwilling to provide financing and credit into emerging markets for smaller transactions. "I’ve spoken with many small U.S. manufacturers, and obtaining financing and credit continues to be a problem negatively impacting growth," Slater said.

"If U.S. manufacturers are going to compete effectively in the global marketplace, access to credit and insurance must be available to all businesses regardless of how big or small, to help ensure 21st century prosperity and growth," Slater added. "AEM firmly believes that when U.S. workers and businesses are allowed to compete, America wins."