the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: President Obama to Sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Will Extend the Bank’s Authority Through 2014 and Increase Its Portfolio Cap to $140 Billion to Help U.S. Businesses Sell Their Products and Services Around the World

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama will sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012, a bipartisan bill that will reauthorize the Bank to continue financing U.S. exports, and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses, at no cost to American taxpayers.

The President believes that a critical component of building stronger and more durable domestic economic growth is ensuring that U.S. workers and businesses can compete successfully in global markets.  Doing so requires promoting U.S. export of goods and services overseas, which is why the President launched the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, with the goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years while supporting two million new export-related jobs.  This legislation will allow the Export-Import Bank to continue financing U.S. exports to meet global competition.  

America continues to make historic progress under the NEI, despite challenges in the global economy.  U.S. exports over the past 12 months are higher than any previous 12-month period in history, reaching $2.15 trillion, over 36% above the level of exports in 2009.  This record-breaking level of exports supported 9.7 million exports-related jobs in 2011, an increase of 1.2 million exports-related jobs since 2009. 

The Export-Import Bank is playing an important role in contributing to this progress.  Last year, the Bank set export finance records for the third straight year. Overall authorizations hit $32.7 billion, supporting $40 billion in export sales and 290,000 American jobs at more than 3,600 U.S. companies.  More than 85% of these transactions were for small businesses.  The Bank is on track to meet the growing demand for export financing this fiscal year, as well, and small business transactions currently account for more than 22% of the Bank's overall authorizations.

As we create export opportunities for our businesses and workers, the President will continue to ensure that U.S. exporters have a level global playing field on which to compete.  The U.S. will pursue its longstanding goal of minimizing trade-distorting financing of exports from our global competitors.  However, as long as our global competitors provide official export financing, America will do the same.

Under the NEI, the Administration has been working tirelessly on behalf of U.S. exporters since day one.  Through the direct counseling of more than 12,000 U.S. companies, federal trade agencies have supported nearly $140 billion in U.S. exports, and through the recent launch of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, the President has brought an unprecedented level of focus and cooperation around investigating unfair trade practices around the world.  The Administration has also worked to expand access to overseas markets for U.S. exporters by resolving outstanding issues with pending trade agreements, negotiating new market access, and deepening engagement in major emerging markets, such as the Free Trade Agreements the President signed with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

Key Elements of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

The reauthorization legislation includes the following provisions:

  • Extending the Bank’s Authority: The Bank’s authority to approve new export financing is extended to September 30, 2014.
  • Increasing the Bank’s Portfolio Limit:  The Bank’s financing authority is increased immediately to $120 billion and will be further stepped up to $140 billion, while requiring the Bank to submit a business plan and maintain a low default rate.
  • Focusing the Bank’s Mission:  The Bank will provide additional information on its business planning, default rates, and its support for small business and the U.S. textile industry.  In addition, the GAO will evaluate the role of the Bank in the world economy, the Bank’s risk management, and its underwriting and fraud prevention procedures.
  • Enhancing Transparency:  The Bank will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on transactions of more than $100 million through Federal Register notification.
  • Updating Technology:  The Bank is given authority to use part of its fee income to update its information technology systems.
  • Reviewing Existing Policies:  The Bank will conduct reviews of its economic impact procedures and domestic content policies.