Export Finance:

Challenges Facing the U.S. Export-Import Bank

T-GGD-94-46: Published: Nov 3, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1993.

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GAO discussed issues that affect the U.S. Export-Import Bank's (Eximbank) role in assisting U.S. exporters. GAO noted that: (1) there is considerable overlap in federal export financing programs, since Eximbank has not coordinated its programs with other agencies' export programs at the operational level; (2) in September 1993, the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee made specific recommendations concerning the harmonization and integration of an Eximbank and Small Business Administration working capital program; (3) Eximbank has used its funds for responding to foreign countries' tied aid practices to police a 1992 international agreement that discourages such aid, but this policy may not be effective because of weaknesses in the agreement and its enforceability; (4) Eximbank will administer a proposed aid fund for major capital projects overseas to combat other countries' tied aid, but it needs to develop criteria so that the fund will be used effectively; (5) credit reform legislation has increased congressional budgetary control over Eximbank, since the total costs of Eximbank's annual transactions must be accounted for when transactions are made and are limited by the total amount appropriated for Eximbank loans, guarantees, and insurance; (6) Eximbank has expanded its delivery of services by increasing commercial banks' participation, administering a city/state program, and using regional offices; and (7) Eximbank customers believe that France's and Japan's export credit agencies have the most competitive export programs and Eximbank has the least competitive programs because of its lengthy case-processing time and paperwork requirements.

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