U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, made the following statement regarding the Export Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s failure to prepare a contingency plan for small businesses currently utilizing the Bank’s export credit insurance and lending programs, as its authority expires tomorrow.
“The livelihood of thousands of small businesses is at stake while Ex-Im plays a game of chicken with Congress,” said Vitter. “Fortunately, there is a clear, simple solution to protect small business exporters if Ex-Im would only coordinate a transition plan for its small business export financing with the Small Business Administration. Ex-Im has a responsibility to communicate to its small business clients that the SBA is available to help, even when Ex-Im isn’t.”
Last week Vitter sent a letter to Ex-Im Chairman & President Fred Hochberg requesting that Ex-Im work closely with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure that small businesses currently utilizing the Bank’s export credit insurance and lending programs will have alternatives should the Bank’s authority lapse or terminate, and had requested a response by Friday, June 26. Ex-Im failed to respond by the deadline, and its authority will expire tomorrow, June 30. SBA has three programs in place that serve the same functions as the working capital programs at Ex-Im.
Earlier this month, Vitter introduced the Ensuring Small Businesses Can Export Act of 2015, which would authorize the SBA to implement a program comparable to the Export Credit Insurance program.