US EXIM Bank Says 2020 Funding Volume Still Far Less Than Global Rivals

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By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) – The Export and Import Bank of the United States said on Wednesday it was lagging far behind its global competitors in terms of financing volume in 2020, even as the overall activity of funding was declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its annual competition report https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/reports/competitiveness_reports/2020/EXIM_2020_CompetitivenessReport_Web-Ready_Single%20pages.pdf to Congress, EXIM said it authorized $ 1.8 billion term export credit support in the 2020 schedule, compared to the world leader China at $ 18 billion, France at $ 12.1 billion, Germany at 8.6 billion dollars and South Korea to $ 5 billion.

China, traditionally the largest supplier of export credit, saw its financing volume decline last year from more than $ 33 billion in 2019.

EXIM provides direct loans, commercial loan guarantees, export credit insurance and working capital guarantees to US exporters.

It is still recovering from years of reduced-capacity operations after conservative Republicans in Congress attempted to shut down the institution in 2015, arguing it provided “business well-being.”

In 2014, the agency reported https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/reports/EXIM%202014CompetReport_0611.pdf that it had authorized $ 12.5 billion in export credit support in the medium to long term, a year in which she said China approved a volume of $ 58 billion.

EXIM in 2019 got a seven-year re-authorization, the longest in its 87-year history, and saw Congress restore its full board of directors. This allowed it to resume financing of large contracts over $ 10 million, such as commercial aircraft and power plants.

At the end of 2020, EXIM said it had an estimated $ 39 billion backlog of projects in its funding pipeline awaiting approval.

“EXIM is poised to once again become a leader in export credit and provide the nature and scale of official MLT export credit necessary to give US exporters and US interests a fair overview of business opportunities in years to come, EXIM interim vice president James Cruse said in a statement. (Reporting by David Lawder, editing by Leslie Adler)

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