U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, today introduced the S. 1546, Ensuring Small Businesses Can Export Act of 2015, which establishes the Export Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s Export Credit Insurance Program at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to complement existing SBA programs which provide export financing to small businesses.
“Supporters of the Export Import Bank tout the Bank’s support of small businesses as one of the primary reasons for authorizing Ex-Im, yet the interests of American small businesses are not adequately represented to sell goods and services around the globe,” said Vitter. “The SBA is better equipped to manage export loans for small businesses, already has the statutory authority to do so, and has more appealing export financing programs due to their flexibility and fast turnaround time. My legislation will cut down on government duplicity and also ensure that small businesses in Louisiana and across the country have the export credit insurance and access to capital necessary to compete in the global marketplace.”
Also this week, Vitter sent a letter to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, urging her to prepare for the possibility of the Ex-Im Bank’s closure and ensure that small businesses’ export capital and insurance needs are supported through SBA programs. Click here to read more.
The Ensuring Small Businesses Can Export Act of 2015 would allow the SBA to manage approximately 80% of all small business export loans and 90% of all export credit insurance transactions currently done through Ex-Im Bank. Currently, SBA and Ex-Im Bank are competing for small business clients under the current structure, as cited by a 2013 GAO study on export promotion. The SBA operates three specific export financing programs: the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), the International Trade Loan (ITL) program, and Export Express. Additionally, many of SBA’s broader loan programs also support export-related activities. The SBA currently has the statutory authority to make export loans of up to $5 million with a 90 percent guarantee.