EXIM Bank Quarter in Review - Winter 2017


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EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES QUARTER IN REVIEW VOLUME 7

 

// 1.17.2017

Message from the Chairman

Today is my last day as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and this is my last quarterly message.  Moving forward, President Obama has named Charles J. (CJ) Hall to serve as Acting President and Chair, and Scott P. Schloegel as Acting First Vice President and Vice Chair.  CJ has been our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2013, and Scott has been with the Bank since 2011, first as Senior Vice President for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, and then as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff.  Both are talented and deeply knowledgeable leaders, and I have every confidence in their ability to guide this agency through the Presidential Transition and get permanent leadership and board positions confirmed quickly in the 115th Congress.

In addition to CJ and Scott, I want to thank the entire EXIM Bank team, which has worked tirelessly on behalf of U.S. exports and American jobs.  Everyone here has the business savvy and expertise to continue supporting our country's exports and leveling the playing field for American workers.

Looking back on the last eight years, President Obama spoke pointedly about the importance of the work of EXIM Bank in our country.  In his Farewell Address on Tuesday evening, the President said, “Our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity.  Today, the economy is growing again; wages, incomes, home values, and retirement accounts are rising again; poverty is falling again…the unemployment rate is near a ten-year low.”  Our businesses have added nearly 16 million jobs over the last 82 months—the longest streak of private-sector job growth in our history.  EXIM Bank has been at the center of this progress, growing our economy, creating and retaining jobs for Americans, and leveling the playing field for our workers and exporters.

Since 2009, EXIM has financed more than $240 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 1.4 million American jobs.  At the same time, we've reduced internal costs by nearly 30 percent, and in the first three months of this fiscal year, our write-offs stand at 0.264%.  Last week, we released our 2016 Annual Report.  Even with all our challenges, with one hand tied behind our back, EXIM authorized $5 billion in financing that ultimately supported 52,000 American jobs.  Think about it—that's about 1,000 jobs every week of the year.

At the same time, EXIM has done all this at no cost to taxpayers. In fact, since 2009, the Bank has generated more than $3.8 billion in revenues for U.S. taxpayers. That money has traditionally gone toward deficit reduction—but at the beginning of this year, I wrote an op-ed with former secretary of transportation Ray LaHood that the money EXIM generates could be used for infrastructure improvement, new development, and immediate job growth.

Looking at exports generally, the U.S. exported more than $185 billion in goods and services in November, the most recent reporting month.  That's up more nearly $2 billion from November of 2015.  Still, exports of capital goods—including agricultural and construction equipment— as well as aircraft exports, were down.  In spite of global headwinds, we have retained our position as the number-two exporting nation on earth.  With the right competitive tools, we could be number-one.  Just imagine the possibilities.

EXIM helps to ensure economic opportunity for Americans on the global stage.  In 2014—the Bank’s last fully-operational year—EXIM financing supported nearly 165,000 jobs.  That’s the kind of support our country needs in a global economy that gets more competitive every single day.

At the end of 2016, I reflected on my time at EXIM and what I’ve learned about export competition over the last eight years in a piece published in Foreign Policy.  In short, global growth is slowing, fiscal and monetary policy tools are unwieldy instruments for boosting growth, and countries are turning to their export credit agencies (ECAs) to compete more aggressively for exports and create jobs.  We cannot unilaterally disarm American exporters and workers in such an environment.

In the first quarter of FY 2017, EXIM has authorized $771 million in financing, supporting approximately 7,800 jobs.  Compare that to the first quarter of 2014, when we authorized $4.2 billion in financing.  We can do more, and we must do more.  American workers need a quorum on the EXIM board of directors, and a long-term plan for the Bank’s performance.

With that in mind, the President-elect, together with the Senate, have an opportunity to confirm five new board members and an inspector general for EXIM Bank.  Through appointed leadership, they have the power to position the Bank to be an even more effective force for U.S. exports and jobs in the coming years.  Given their robust jobs agenda, I hope they will seize this opportunity as a logical early step.

Leading EXIM Bank for the last eight years has been the best job of my life.  That’s because every day I have had the opportunity to work with an outstanding team, dedicated to continuous self-improvement in support of our nation’s exporters, workers, and job growth.  At the front of my mind all the time was a simple fact: in every American job there is a person, and behind every person there is a life, a family, a story.  Since 2009, we’ve made it possible for 1.4 million American families to put food on the table, save money for education, and access healthcare.  That’s what EXIM financing does.  That’s what motivated me every day for eight years, and it will continue to motivate me for the rest of my life.

Warm regards,

Fred

P.S. – Annual Conference 2017

The new year also means another EXIM Bank Annual Conference, which will take place on April 6th and 7th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.  I hope you'll attend, meet the EXIM team, and, hopefully, a new chair and board!  You can register online here.  Do not miss this opportunity to explore export opportunities and U.S. government financing under a new administration.

P.P.S. - Staying in touch

I hope we can stay in touch!  If you need to reach me going forward, please email Fred.Hochberg@exim.gov and your email will be forwarded to me.

 


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Export-Import Bank of the United States
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