The House of Representatives recently passed a bill authorizing the extension of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s charter for another five years. It also provides for the restoration of a Small Business Division to operate within the bank.
In a release, the House Small Business Committee said “the legislation also includes provisions… to give the restored Small Business Division more teeth by authorizing small business specialists within each division of the Ex-Im Bank the ability to approve loans, guarantees and insurance at recommended levels up to $10 million.” These provisions will reportedly speed up the consideration of small business loans.
Additionally, the bill allows the Senior Vice President of the bank’s Small Business Division to advocate for small business exporters in specific transactions and enhances Ex-Im’s delegated loan authority to private banks for medium-term transactions.
Ex-Im Bank was created in 1934 as an independent government agency that provides export credit guarantees, insurance and direct loans to allow American companies to more easily do business overseas. Earlier in 2006, the Government Accountability Office released a study showing that the Ex-Im Bank had consistently missed its statutory 20 percent set aside mandate for small business since the mandate was increased in 2002.
The bill was authored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the President.
Source: Jacob Barron, NACM Staff Writer and the U.S. House Small Business Committee