Two years ago President Obama launched the National Export Initiative at our annual conference with the ambitious goal of doubling exports by 2015. Since that time, U.S. exports have been growing at an annualized rate of 15.9 percent, putting the country on track to achieve this goal.
By getting more Americans back to work through exports, Ex-Im Bank is playing a central role. To expand our support for exporters, particularly small businesses, Congress increased our agency’s administrative budget spending authority by $6 million for 2012. And all of this additional spending will come exclusively from revenue earned through fees we collect. We will deploy these additional resources to ensure that more companies can meet global competitors head on.
On our reauthorization, we still have work to do. Ex-Im Bank’s charter has been extended until the end of May, 2012 while a long-term reauthorization is being finalized. It’s important this is accomplished this year. We must ensure businesses will continue to have a key resource - export financing – to level the international playing field. Businesses value the certainty that Ex-Im products are available to help them win overseas sales.
As many of you know, we operate at no cost to the taxpayers, and in fact have earned $1.9 billion above the cost of operations during the past five years. So we are creating and sustaining American jobs while helping to reduce the deficit. Based on our first three months, it looks like this will be another strong year for Ex-Im. If you are interested in learning more about first quarter highlights, read more below.
Fred P. Hochberg
Chairman and President of Ex-Im Bank
In the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, Ex-Im Bank approved $4.26 billion in authorizations which are supporting approximately 37,000 American jobs. The top industry sector was infrastructure with concentrations in aircraft, manufacturing, agriculture, services, and information and communications service providers. The top destination markets for this quarter were Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Turkey.
In another important development during the first quarter, authorizations for working capital and credit insurance almost doubled for minority- and women- owned exporters, rising from $75.8 million in the first quarter of 2011 to $143.8 million in 2012.
Over $789 million was authorized for small businesses – on track for another strong year for small business. The number of small business customers went up 10% over the same quarter in 2011. Ex-Im saw an acceleration of activity in its new product, Express Insurance, which was developed specifically to assist small business exporters. During the first quarter of 2012, 60 policies were issued to small business exporters of which 57 were new customers for Ex-Im Bank.
Ex-Im Bank marked a successful first year of Global Access for Small Business , the Bank’s small business outreach initiative. Chairman Hochberg and members of Ex-Im’s Board of Directors traveled across the country to meet with small business owners to discuss the benefits of exporting. Ex-Im Bank hosted 32 forums where representatives from local businesses, elected officials, and partner government agencies attended and shared their expertise on how to enter and compete in the global marketplace. Each forum attracted audiences of 75 to 300 representatives from local companies seeking to improve their bottom line and create jobs by exporting goods and service to more customers in more countries.
Companies like Cameron Lumber Company (CLC) of Cameron, S.C. - a veteran-owned, small business, wanted to extend terms to its foreign buyers. Randy Hunt, Vice President of CLC, attended a seminar in June, 2011, where Ex-Im Bank assisted the company in applying for an Express Multi-Buyer Insurance Policy. Now with the ability to extend terms to its customers in Egypt and Jordan, the company added 11 new employees as a result of the transaction.
A special thanks to our Global Access partners; we hope to continue our efforts to help small business and support the U.S. economy through exports of U.S. goods and services. Ex-Im Bank’s Global Access partners: National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Bank of America, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and Wells Fargo Bank.
Last fall, Chairman Hochberg led two major Global Access forums - one in Chicago with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and the other in New York City with Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the New York Federal Reserve. Both were standing-room only events and featured government officials and successful exporters who shared tips with small business owners about how to increase foreign sales.
Chairman Hochberg joined GE Transportation’s President Lorenzo Simonelli to tour at the GE’s Erie plant where GE locomotives are manufactured. This fiscal year, GE Transportation completed two major transactions to Kazakhstan and South Africa with Ex-Im Bank export financing. A $425 million direct loan was approved to the national railway of Kazakhstan for the purchase of 196 GE locomotives and locomotive kits, marking GE’s largest transaction in Kazakhstan. According to Simonelli, the transaction supported 2,900 jobs at GE’s Erie plant and established a foothold in a key region. Additionally, South Africa’s Transnet, Limited was approved for a loan guarantee for over $100 million in purchases of locomotives. For more information go to http://go.usa.gov/NGn.
Op-Eds: From the Chairman
In November 2011, Chairman Hochberg led a business development team to China to further the National Export Initiative and seek opportunities for American companies to sell more products and services in this booming market. In the last six months, Ex-Im Bank authorized an estimated $572 million to support exports to China. The Chairman met with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke and representatives from several business organizations. Further information on the trip is available at http://go.usa.gov/NGd. While there, the business development team learned that “Made in the U.S.A.” is in big demand in China. Medical equipment and technology and farm equipment were targeted as having large export potential.
Chairman Hochberg Attends APEC Summit in Hawaii
Following China, the Ex-Im team participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit hosted by President Obama, where world leaders and small- and medium-sized business owners attended. The summit included a series of forums to discuss economic opportunities in the APEC regions. Asia was Ex-Im Bank’s number one market in export financing in FY 2011, with over $10 billion in export financing to the APEC region. Chairman Hochberg met with delegates from APEC countries such as Mexico to discuss how to better engage small businesses in Mexico and the U.S. He also met with Indonesian delegates to discuss new opportunities in the geothermal, infrastructure and education sectors. The economy is growing at 6.5 percent and could be as high as 8 or 9 percent with greater investment.
President Obama with James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President's Export Council and Chairman and CEO, The Boeing Company, at APEC summit.
Chairman Hochberg will lead a business development team to Vietnam in February to seek more opportunities for U.S. exporters in Vietnam, one of nine Ex-Im Bank key markets. See below to learn more about the markets.
In December, Ex-Im Bank hosted a special seminar “Infrastructure Opportunities in Colombia for U.S. Companies” with the Colombian Embassy and PROEXPORT in Colombia, a seminar highlighting infrastructure exporting opportunities for U.S. companies. In FY 2011, Colombia was the fastest growing market in authorizations for Ex-Im Bank, with $3.7 billion in export financing or 34% of all U.S. goods to this. Colombia is the highest engagement Ex-Im Bank has had with any foreign market. Road construction and power were two industries highlighted for U.S. investment, more information is available on Ex-Im Bank’s website at http://go.usa.gov/NGP.
In December, Ex-Im Bank hosted a special seminar “Infrastructure Opportunities in Colombia for U.S. Companies” with the Colombian Embassy and PROEXPORT in Colombia, a seminar highlighting infrastructure exporting opportunities for U.S. companies. In FY 2011, Colombia was the fastest growing market in authorizations for Ex-Im Bank,
with $3.7 billion in export financing or 34% of all U.S. goods to this. Colombia is the highest engagement Ex-Im Bank has had with any foreign market. Road construction and power were two industries highlighted for U.S. investment, more information is available on Ex-Im Bank’s website at http://go.usa.gov/NGP.
In fiscal year 2011, Ex-Im Bank had a portfolio of over $241 million in Nigeria, with a growing demand in infrastructure needs. Nigeria is one of nine Ex-Im Bank key markets.
Chairman Hochberg and Vice Chair Wanda Felton, who oversees sub-Saharan Africa for the Bank, traveled to Nigeria in October to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Ministry of Power. In Abuja, Nigeria, the agreement was aimed at securing up to $1.5 billion of U.S. exports of goods and services directed at a ten-fold increase in power output in Nigeria by 2020. Nigeria intends to increase power output from the current four gigawatt levels to 15-20 gigawatts by 2015, and 40 gigawatts by 2020. This is a prime opportunity for U.S. exports, particularly in the oil and gas industry sector - http://go.usa.gov/N73
Prior to her appointment, Loui was the founder and chairman of OmniTrak Group Inc. She previously worked at Bank of Hawaii, a regional bank with an international portfolio. She also served as development planner for the United Nations in the Asia-Pacific region. She has lived and worked in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pacific Islands, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam - http://go.usa.gov/N7c
Prior to his appointment, Walther was the director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) from March 2008 to January 2009. Prior to that position, Walther served for more than three years as the executive director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. Previously, Walther had a 30-year career with SBC Communications (now AT&T), which he concluded as the vice president for Corporate Services and chairman of the SBC Foundation - http://go.usa.gov/N7a
Omni Shoreham Hotel
· Samuel Allen of Deere & Company
· Mark T. Bertolini of Aetna Inc.
· J.P. Chalasani of Reliance Power
· Scott Davis of UPS
· Ellen Kullman of Dupont
· Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical Company
· David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group
· Robert Wolf of UBS Americas
Ex-Im Bank issued its 2011 Annual Report, a web-based report of Ex-Im Bank’s export financing in fiscal year 2011. For the third straight year Ex-Im Bank set export finance records including overall financing that for the first time exceeded $32 billion and supported $41.3 billion in exports at more than 3,600 U.S. companies, helping to support approximately 290,000 export-related American jobs. To view the full report, go to Ex-Im Bank's website at http://go.usa.gov/NIE.