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Posted: May 29, 2012

The Export-Import Bank is back

Colorado vote split along party lines

the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry

An agreement on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States Ex-Im was reached this week with the Senate voting in favor of the bill that the House already approved last week.  The final bill is on its way to the President for his anticipated signature.  CACI sent the entire Colorado Congressional delegation a letter supporting Ex-Im’s reauthorization.  Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, along with Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis, all voted in favor of the reauthorization. GOP Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton voted against it.

By way of background, Ex-Im is the official export-credit agency of the United States Federal Government, with the purpose of financing and insuring foreign purchases of United States goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept credit risk. The mission of the Bank is to create and sustain U.S. jobs by financing sales of U.S. exports to international buyers.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s authorization expired at the end of September 2011, and the bank is currently operating under a short-term extension that ends May 31.

As reported, the agreement reached by Congress raises the loan exposure cap “to $120 billion immediately and then continue to grow in two $10 billion increments in fiscal 2013 and 2014.” In addition, “the bill subjects the bank to new rules, demanding greater transparency for any transaction of $100 million or more.

Management will be required to maintain default rates below 2 percent and submit both a business plan and a report responsive to criticism of its risk-management practices. Quarterly financial reports will be required, and if the default rate should go over 2 percent for any six-month period, the Treasury would have to bring in an independent third party to address the problem.”

The passage of the Ex-Im reauthorization bill by Congress is a somewhat rare occurrence this session, as getting  both sides and Houses to agree upon  final legislative language  has proven the be extremely difficult. As stated by Fred P. Hochberg, president and chairman of the Ex-Im Bank, “There are no Democratic or Republican exports. There are exports that create jobs. Good, middle-class jobs.”

Established in 1965, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry is the statewide chamber of commerce. With almost 500 members statewide, employing nearly 200,000 workers, CACI's mission is to champion a healthy business environment. CACI's members include individual businesses, about 30 trade associations, about 40 local chambers of commerce and several local economic development organizations. CACI's lobbying team works with state lawmakers to promote business-friendly laws, and has a successful track record of securing legislation that benefits all Colorado businesses. CACI is a non-profit organization funded solely by its members. Learn more at www.cochamber.com.

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