McAdams votes to renew U.S. export credit agency

Congressional News 03

Congressman Ben McAdams voted with Republicans and Democrats to reauthorize America’s export credit agency—the Export-Import Bank—which both business and labor agree has been an engine of economic development and job creation. 

McAdams supported the U.S. Export Finance Agency Act of 2019 (H.R. 4863), which renews the credit agency through 2029 and improves the agency’s ability to support exports and Utah’s small businesses’ reach to global customers.  McAdams is an early supporter of the bill and a member of the House Financial Services Committee which held hearings on the measure.

The export credit agency’s charter expired at the end of September but has received temporary extensions.

“The finance agency directly supports thousands of American jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. Its role is to provide short-term credit when the private sector is unwilling or unable to finance businesses’ efforts to expand into global markets and compete through sales of U.S. goods and services. Its support is indispensable to companies and supply chains before they can bid on overseas projects– who need credit-backing and insurance for everything from airliners to advanced technology,” said McAdams.

The U.S. Export Finance Agency is demand-driven and fee-based. Its products include:

  • Direct loans to foreign buyers of U.S. exports
  • Insurance to protect U.S. exporters or financial institutions against certain risks of exporting
  • Short-term, secured working capital loans and guarantees, usually to small businesses

In fiscal year 2014 (the last fiscal year the bank was fully operational), the bank authorized $20.5 billion for 3,746 transactions, to support an estimated $27.5 billion in U.S. exports and more than 164,000 U.S. jobs.  The Finance Agency charges fees for its services that have generated $9.6 billion in returns for the U.S. Treasury since 1992.

McAdams also offered an amendment blocking the Export Finance Agency from supporting any transactions to people involved with illegal trafficking of synthetic opioids, highlighting concerns about China’s fentanyl violations. His amendment was approved 414 to 1.

Miles Hansen, President and CEO of World Trade Center Utah, said the credit agency plays an important role in supporting Utah’s economic growth and Utah companies’ ability to compete with countries such as China, Brazil, the U.K. and Germany.

“International trade is vital to Utah’s economy.  The state’s $14.5 billion in exports adds 7 percent to Utah’s GDP annually and close to 1 in 4 Utah jobs are supported by international trade and investment,” said Hansen. “Direct access to the Export Finance Agency’s finance and risk management programs provide Utah’s small businesses with critical tools for international growth.”

The bill also creates an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion; directs the credit agency to conduct outreach to small businesses; prohibits financing to the Chinese Army and Intelligence Services; and creates an Office of Financing for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage Exports.

The legislation is supported by The AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the National Association of Manufacturers, among others.