The Export-Import Bank of the United States expects an increase in its lending limit through a reauthorization bill making its way through Congress.
The higher limit would be a significant benefit to companies seeking loans or loan guarantees to complete export transactions, said John Hardy Jr., president of the Coalition for Employment through Exports.
Hardy said on Friday that the House and Senate should agree on a new quadrennial charter within the next few days. However, the legislation is likely to be included in an omnibus appropriations bill that Congress will pass before year’s end.
“Exporters are pushing hard for reauthorization,” Hardy said. “The Ex-Im Bank has been a centerpiece of the National Export Initiative.” The president launched the effort to double exports in five years in early 2010.
Hardy said that lawmakers agreed to raise the bank’s loan limit above its current $100 billion ceiling. Hardy said it’s uncertain how much higher the limit will be set, but it’s likely to be below $140 billion, the cap that’s provided in the Senate version of the reauthorization bill.
Hardy said without an increase, exporter demand is high enough that the bank will be forced to ration the loans or guarantees that it makes, putting a damper on U.S. exports. The bank estimates that U.S. industries create nearly 8,000 jobs for every $1 billion in export loans.
“If you maximize exports, you maximize the jobs behind them,” Hardy said.