Business advantages of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Published on Apr 07, 2022

Business advantages of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Trade finance can accurately be described as the “final frontier” of international business. Virtually all financial institutions can process trade transactions; however, providing an exporter with working capital for a foreign transaction, can be somewhat more challenging.

The challenge is more of a perception issue than reality. Extending credit to foreign entities is rightfully a frightening exercise for any bank to undertake. Typical of any type of loan, a bank agrees to extend credit to its customer with specific terms and conditions of repayment. The loan is granted upon an approval process that reasonably assures the bank of repayment. If additional collateral is required, the bank may ask for a guarantee or consignor. This same principal can be applied to loans that support export trade finance.

What is the Export-Import Bank?

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) was created in 1934 to aid in financing and to facilitate U.S. exports. The Bank acts as an intermediary—a guarantor or consignor—to enhance the bank’s lending position.

Ex-Im Bank is not a grant agency. It is a government held corporation, managed by a Board of Directors, consisting of a Chair, Vice Chair and three additional Board Members. Members serve for staggered terms and are chosen and serve at the discretion of the President of the United States. 

How does the Ex-Im Bank work?

Before Ex-Im Bank approves a deal, it must have a reasonable assurance of repayment. What Ex-Im Bank does is provide guarantees for working capital loans for U.S. exporters, guarantees the repayment of loans, makes loans to foreign purchases of U.S. goods and services, and provides credit insurance against non-payment by foreign buyers for political or commercial risk.

For most U.S. companies, exports are the key to continued growth and profitability. The ability to compete and succeed in a global marketplace often depend upon the exporter and their bank’s willingness to provide creative financing in an expeditious manner.

How can the Ex-Im Bank help?

U.S. exporters are often at a disadvantage when foreign competitors are subsidized by their local governments. U.S. exporters may also be requested to provide foreign buyers with financing when private financing is unavailable.

The Ex-Im Bank can help in both cases if the product/service is a least 50 percent US content. The Ex-Im Bank’s two primary goals are to increase the export of goods and services among developing nations, and to expand the number of U.S. small business using Ex-Im Programs.

What programs are available?

Ex-Im programs are constantly changing, and new programs are added to accommodate our growing export market. Ex-Im Bank and The Small Business Administration offers programs like those described for the small and start – up exporter.

If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to me, Ralph Bocchino, Commercial Loan Officer, International Trade specialist, by email at or by phone (315) 406-7628.

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