The U.S. Export-Import Bank:

The Bank Plays an Important Role in Promoting Exports

T-GGD-92-36: Published: May 6, 1992. Publicly Released: May 6, 1992.

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GAO discussed the U.S. Export-Import Bank's (Eximbank) export promotion activities. GAO noted that: (1) in fiscal year (FY) 1991, the U.S. government spent about $2.7 billion on export promotion programs, approved about $12.8 billion in export loans and guarantees, and extended about $8.6 billion in export credit insurance, with Eximbank providing about 52 percent of total U.S. support; (2) Eximbank offers a wide range of export financing assistance, including direct loans, loan guarantees, and export credit and risk insurance; (3) in FY 1991, Eximbank assisted in the export of $12.1 billion in goods and services to about 125 countries, with Mexico receiving about 31 percent of total assistance; (4) Eximbank's agreement with the private firm that administers its export credit insurance programs exposes the government to increased insurance costs and increased losses from riskier policies; (5) Eximbank has a limited network for delivering its services, and depends on other federal agencies to make its programs more accessible to all exporters; (6) Eximbank has established joint programs and pooled resources with agencies with similar export promotion goals; (7) Eximbank does not extensively use its authorized funds for countering competitors' use of tied-aid or mixed credits to increase exports, and some exporters are skeptical of Eximbank's belief that a recent international agreement will reduce competitors' use of tied-aid and mixed credits; and (8) recent credit reform legislation will aid Congress in monitoring and comparing the costs and benefits of Eximbank programs.

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