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Authorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States expired on June 30, 2015, and since that time, groups have worked to push reauthorization in both the House and the Senate. Now, with this provision having been attached to both the Senate and the House highway bills, the future of Ex-Im hinges on the reconciliation of these Senate and House bills, which is expected in December.
Just this week, the House passed a short-term extension of the highway bill, extending current provision through December 4, and the Senate is expected to follow suit. This short-term extension allows more time for Senate and House negotiators to agree on final terms for a longer-term extension.
In October the House passed a stand-alone reauthorization of Ex-Im, but Senate Majority Leader McConnell declined to take up the stand-alone legislation, noting that the path of Ex-Im was through the highway legislation.
Inasmuch as the Ex-Im extension has been included in both the Senate and House bills, most anticipate reauthorization will be successful, pending reconciliation of these bills.
Since 2007, almost 9,000 companies have used the Export-Import Bank to finance export sales, including almost 6,000 small businesses. In 2014, Ex-Im made over 3,7000 authorizations and more than 3000-or nearly 90 percent-directly served U.S. small businesses.
CompTIA has continually supported re-authorization of the Ex-Im Bank. The U.S. high tech industry faces stiff competition from foreign competitors that enjoy much greater support from their nation’s export credit agencies. Many companies in the U.S. leverage Ex-Im to engage in business opportunities all over the world. Without such support, companies could be forced to leave the negotiating table and yield big-ticket contracts to foreign competitors.
We urge Congress to complete its work to re-authorize this important institution.