FACT SHEET: President Obama to Sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012
Will Extend the Bank’s Authority Through 2014 and Increase Its Portfolio Cap to $140 Billion to Help U.S. Businesses Sell Their Products and Services Around the World
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama will sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012, a bipartisan bill that will reauthorize the Bank to continue financing U.S. exports, and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses, at no cost to American taxpayers.
The President believes that a critical component of building stronger and more durable domestic economic growth is ensuring that U.S. workers and businesses can compete successfully in global markets. Doing so requires promoting U.S. export of goods and services overseas, which is why the President launched the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010, with the goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years while supporting two million new export-related jobs. This legislation will allow the Export-Import Bank to continue financing U.S. exports to meet global competition.
America continues to make historic progress under the NEI, despite challenges in the global economy. U.S. exports over the past 12 months are higher than any previous 12-month period in history, reaching $2.15 trillion, over 36% above the level of exports in 2009. This record-breaking level of exports supported 9.7 million exports-related jobs in 2011, an increase of 1.2 million exports-related jobs since 2009.
The Export-Import Bank is playing an important role in contributing to this progress. Last year, the Bank set export finance records for the third straight year. Overall authorizations hit $32.7 billion, supporting $40 billion in export sales and 290,000 American jobs at more than 3,600 U.S. companies. More than 85% of these transactions were for small businesses. The Bank is on track to meet the growing demand for export financing this fiscal year, as well, and small business transactions currently account for more than 22% of the Bank’s overall authorizations.
As we create export opportunities for our businesses and workers, the President will continue to ensure that U.S. exporters have a level global playing field on which to compete. The U.S. will pursue its longstanding goal of minimizing trade-distorting financing of exports from our global competitors. However, as long as our global competitors provide official export financing, America will do the same.
Under the NEI, the Administration has been working tirelessly on behalf of U.S. exporters since day one. Through the direct counseling of more than 12,000 U.S. companies, federal trade agencies have supported nearly $140 billion in U.S. exports, and through the recent launch of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, the President has brought an unprecedented level of focus and cooperation around investigating unfair trade practices around the world. The Administration has also worked to expand access to overseas markets for U.S. exporters by resolving outstanding issues with pending trade agreements, negotiating new market access, and deepening engagement in major emerging markets, such as the Free Trade Agreements the President signed with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
Key Elements of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012
The reauthorization legislation includes the following provisions:
- · Extending the Bank’s Authority: The Bank’s authority to approve new export financing is extended to September 30, 2014.
- · Increasing the Bank’s Portfolio Limit: The Bank’s financing authority is increased immediately to $120 billion and will be further stepped up to $140 billion, while requiring the Bank to submit a business plan and maintain a low default rate.
- · Focusing the Bank’s Mission: The Bank will provide additional information on its business planning, default rates, and its support for small business and the U.S. textile industry. In addition, the GAO will evaluate the role of the Bank in the world economy, the Bank’s risk management, and its underwriting and fraud prevention procedures.
- · Enhancing Transparency: The Bank will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on transactions of more than $100 million through Federal Register notification.
- · Updating Technology: The Bank is given authority to use part of its fee income to update its information technology systems.
- · Reviewing Existing Policies: The Bank will conduct reviews of its economic impact procedures and domestic content policies.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY H.R. 5854 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 5854 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013
(Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
Last summer, the Congress and the President came to a bipartisan agreement to put the Nation on a sustainable fiscal course in enacting the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The BCA created a framework for more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction and provided tight spending caps that would bring discretionary spending to a minimum level needed to preserve critical national priorities. Departing from the bipartisan agreement reached in the BCA and departing from the caps it put in place, the House of Representatives put forward a topline discretionary funding level for fiscal year (FY) 2013 that would cost jobs and hurt average Americans, especially seniors, veterans, and children. The funding level would also degrade many of the basic Government services on which the American people rely such as air traffic control and law enforcement. In addition, these cuts were made in the context of a budget that fails the test of balance, fairness, and shared responsibility by giving millionaires and billionaires a tax cut and paying for it through deep cuts, including to discretionary programs.
The appropriations bill for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies funds critical priorities, but given the House’s topline discretionary level for FY 2013, enactment of H.R. 5854 would require harmful cuts to other critical priorities such as education, research and development, job training, and health care as other appropriations bills are constructed.
If the President were presented with H.R. 5854, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the Committee’s version of H.R. 5854, making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes.
Military Construction. The Administration appreciates the Committee’s support for critical military construction projects, but strongly opposes incremental funding of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System Complex in Romania. The incremental funding of this project runs counter to sound budgeting principles and fiscal discipline.
Civilian Pay Freeze. The Administration objects to sections 129, 231, and 232, as well as any other effort to reduce pay for civilian personnel that would effectively extend the freeze on civilian pay through FY 2013. As the President stated in his FY 2013 Budget, a permanent pay freeze is neither sustainable nor desirable. The Administration encourages the Congress to support the proposed 0.5 percent pay raise.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The Administration appreciates the Committee’s support for ANC programs, which will help address the Cemetery’s burial and other operating issues.
The Administration strongly opposes problematic policy and language riders that have no place in funding legislation, including, but not limited to, the following provision in this bill:
Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). The Administration strongly opposes the provision that would effectively prohibit use of project labor agreements on Federal construction projects funded under this bill. PLAs can provide structure and stability to large construction projects, and allow agencies to complete these projects more efficiently. They can also help ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing workplace safety and health, equal employment opportunity, and labor and employment standards.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress as the FY 2013 appropriations process moves forward.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 5743 – Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2013
(Rep. Rogers, R-MI)
The Administration appreciates the continued support of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for intelligence activities, and notwithstanding the concerns outlined below, does not oppose House passage of H.R. 5743, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.
The Administration has serious concerns with the amounts authorized in the classified annex, particularly if these funding levels were included in an appropriations bill, because they exceed the President’s Budget. Further, the Administration objects to unrequested authorizations for some classified programs that were reduced in the President’s Budget because they are lower in priority and would support deficit reduction efforts. The Administration asks the congressional committees to ensure that the final amounts appropriated for the Intelligence Community for FY 2013 are authorized.
The Administration appreciates that the bill repeals some dated and obsolete statutory reporting requirements. Further reducing unnecessary reporting requirements will help to alleviate the burden associated with these requirements in a resource-constrained environment.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address its concerns.