Last fall, Congress reauthorized the Export-Import Bank, much to the relief of small-business owners who lost a key financing tool when the bank was sent to the sidelines. But the fight for Ex-Im Bank isn’t over.
The agency has three open seats on its five-member board, and it can’t approve loans of more than $10 million until at least one of those seats is filled. Moreover, the bank’s charter expires again in 2019. That creates uncertainty for foreign buyers that might be considering importing U.S.-made equipment.
Opponents of Ex-Im Bank argue that private companies could take over the government’s role in export financing, calling Ex-Im Bank a corporate welfare program for giants such as Boeing and General Electric.
But supporters say the uncertainty of the bank’s future is hurting American exports and endangering jobs. Though large companies are the biggest borrowers, the bank also helped 2,300 small businesses last year with export financing.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch