Fast Facts

The Export-Import Bank's mission is to support U.S. jobs by facilitating U.S. exports through loans, loan guarantees, and insurance.

According to its policy, the Bank generally cannot finance defense goods and services unless they are nonlethal and primarily used for civilian rather than military purposes. The Bank monitors these "dual-use" items to ensure they are used mostly for civilian purposes.

We reviewed the Bank's monitoring of FY 2018 dual-use transactions and new dual-use transactions the Bank financed in FY 2019. We found one transaction in 2018 that the Bank monitored, and found no new transactions in 2019.

Export-Import Bank

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What GAO Found

As of August 2020, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) had monitored the end use of the single dual-use export transaction that it continued to finance in fiscal year 2018, as summarized below.

  • Two satellites for the government of Mexico. A fixed service satellite was launched in December 2012 and became operational in February 2013, and a mobile service satellite was launched in October 2015 and became operational in December 2015. For 2020, EXIM received all documents from the government of Mexico on time and subsequently determined that Mexico was in compliance with the bank's dual-use policy.

EXIM did not finance any new exports under its dual-use authority in fiscal year 2019, according to EXIM authorization data and EXIM officials.

Why GAO Did This Study

EXIM's mission is to support the export of U.S. goods and services overseas through loans, loan guarantees, and insurance, thereby supporting U.S. jobs. In 1994, Congress passed legislation authorizing EXIM to facilitate the financing of U.S. exports of defense articles and services with both commercial and military applications, provided that the bank determines these items are nonlethal and primarily meant for civilian end use. Such "dual-use" exports have included, for example, construction equipment for foreign militaries to use to build roads. Included in the same act was a provision for GAO, in conjunction with EXIM, to report annually on the end uses of dual-use exports financed by EXIM during the second preceding fiscal year.

This report (1) examines the status of EXIM's monitoring of dual-use exports that it continued to finance in fiscal year 2018, as of August 2020; and (2) identifies any new dual-use exports that EXIM financed in fiscal year 2019.

For more information, contact Kimberly Gianopoulos at (202) 512-8612 or

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