October 3 - Despite the fact that reauthorisation of the US Export Import Bank (Ex-Im) finally passed both houses of Congress with strong majorities last year, the ability of the American credit finance agency to regain full operational efficiency remains
Now a wide-ranging coalition of business and industry trade groups and coalitions are pressing for language that would enable Ex-Im to do its job. They pressed their case during the Breakbulk Americas exhibition and conference held last week in Houston, Texas.
The groups have set up a website - www.exportersforexim.org - where supporters can quickly send a message to their local Congressional representatives urging their support.
Proponents explained that at present, the vote of three Ex-Im board directors is needed to approve any loan guarantee above USD10 million. Many projects exceed this threshold but the bank's board at present has only two directors.
President Obama named a Republican-designated nominee to fill a vacancy, but Republican opponents have refused to hold hearings on the nomination, maintaining the stalemate.
Proponents hope to get language added to an omnibus budget bill that would designate the vote of two board members as sufficient, but urge supporters to put the pressure on their representatives to get the language included and remove the roadblock.