This bill would rebrand the Export-Import Bank as the United States Export Finance Agency and reauthorize the agency through fiscal year 2029 (its current authorization expires on November 21st). It would also authorize gradual increases in the agency’s lending limit from $145 billion in FY2020 to $175 billion for FY2026-FY2029, and codify policies aimed at helping small businesses. A breakdown of its various provisions can be found below.
The U.S. Export Finance Agency would be required to develop a plan to increase awareness among small businesses of the export tools it makes available to American firms. The plan would be developed with input from the Small Business Administration and regional small business coalitions, and emphasize outreach to businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities. This bill would make $1 million available annually for these outreach activities.
The board of directors of the U.S. Export Finance Agency would prohibited from authorizing financing involving the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China, China’s ministry of state security, and persons or entities facing sanctions from federal agencies for arms control or foreign corruption activities.
The bill would also require that the U.S. Export Finance Agency establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, which would develop diversity standards for the agency’s workforce and aim to increase participation by minority-owned and women-owned businesses. The office would also promote outreach activities aimed at supporting exports by socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns, particularly those owned by women. All of the office’s efforts to promote inclusion would be compiled in an annual report.
The U.S. Export Finance Agency would be required to establish an Office of Financing for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage Exports. Reports on environmental and social impacts of proposed activities would be required in applications for financing, including reports on CO2 emissions, and consultations would be required with potentially impacted communities. Environmental and social due diligence procedures and guidelines would be established. Foreign buyers would be encouraged to seek to seek commercially viable technologies to reduce the CO2 footprint of projects. The agency would have a goal of lending least 5% of the financing available each year to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technology exports.
An Office of Territorial Exporting would be established to support exports and provide financial resources to businesses located in U.S. territories. At least one staffer would be responsible for liaising with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while at least one additional staffer would be similarly responsible for working with Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
If the agency lacks a quorum of Senate-confirmed directors for at least 90 consecutive days, a temporary board of directors would be established consisting of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Treasury Secretary, the Commerce Secretary, and any confirmed directors. If all temporary board members are from one political party, the president would be directed to appoint a qualified member of the opposite political party to a Senate-confirmed post so they can serve on the board. A temporary board wouldn’t be able to operate beyond the point at which this bill’s authorization lapses, FY2029. A quorum wouldn’t be required to authorize funding for all projects exceeding $10 million in size.