First it was the Small Business Administration (SBA), now it's the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).
Ex-Im recently announced that it had its second consecutive record-breaking year in fiscal year 2010. From October 2009 to the end of September 2010, Ex-Im authorized a record $24.5 billion in export financing, supporting $34.4 billion worth of exports and 227,000 American jobs at over 3,300 U.S. companies.
"I am proud of the results we have achieved during our second consecutive record-setting year," said Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg. "Two of our major priorities are to engage more small businesses and increase our renewable-energy portfolio. And we broke records on both fronts-approving a record $5 billion in financing for small companies and tripling our renewable energy export financing to over $300 million."
Among Ex-Im's other accomplishments were the approval of 3,532 transactions over the year, more than 1,000 of which were for companies using Ex-Im financing for the first time. The bank also noted its launch of two new products during FY 2010, including a supply chain financing program geared exclusively toward small businesses.
While he applauded the bank's success, Hochberg was quick to prod his agency away from resting on its laurels. "While the Bank's 2010 performance is impressive, there remains enormous untapped potential for more American companies to sell more goods and services to more customers in more countries," he said. "And through improved customer service and increased outreach efforts, Ex-Im is committed to helping U.S. companies achieve this goal."
The Ex-Im report was released the same day as the Department of Commerce's export figures, which showed that U.S. exports of goods and services increased by 17.9% during the first eight months of 2010, totaling $1,198 billion for the January-August period. August 2010 exports topped out at $153.9 billion, which was the largest monthly figure since August 2008. The largest increases in U.S. goods purchases occurred in Taiwan (50%), Indonesia (46.6%), Korea (46.4%) and Turkey (45.4%). Perennial exporting punching bag China saw a still-notable 35.6% increase in U.S. goods purchases.
Jacob Barron, NACM staff writer