U.S. exporters say they may have trouble financing projects unless Congress lifts the lending cap of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Congress recently gave the bank a six-month extension but failed to increase the financial institution’s lending cap. The bank can only lend up to $100 billion and has outstanding loans of roughly $93 billion.
“The gap in the cap is getting smaller,” said John Hardy, president of the Coalition for Employment through Exports. “The bank may have to start rationing its capacity.”
The sooner Congress acts, the smaller the effect will be on the bank’s lending ability, he said
The Ex-Im bank figures prominently in the government’s drive to double exports in by 2015, considering the bank underwrites up to 90 percent of a company’s export transaction.
Handy said that lawmakers negotiated Ex-Im reauthorization terms before the end of the session, and it was expected to be included in a year-end omnibus appropriations bill. But the full extension was dropped unexpectedly and given a short-term continuation instead.