June 26, 2020

Crapo Statement at Export-Import Bank Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, delivered the following remarks at a hybrid hearing to conduct oversight of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. 

The text of Chairman Crapo’s remarks, as prepared, is below.  

“Welcome to our witness, the Honorable Kimberly Reed, President and Chairman of the Board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. 

“We welcome you back, Chairman Reed.  It has been almost exactly a year since your last appearance before this committee.   

“Today, we will receive testimony on EXIM’s recent activities and operations, including your efforts to implement the 7-year reauthorization legislation we enacted last December, as well as your efforts to continue to process through the transactions and other matters in the pipeline at EXIM, and to increase your outreach and efforts to bring new U.S. export opportunities into the pipeline. 

“In addition, we know the disruption of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy has had an impact on U.S. exporters as well, and we will be interested to hear of any efforts and initiatives you are undertaking to address these challenges. 

“Chairman Reed, you have been on the job for a little over a year now. 

“When you came before us for your nomination hearing, and when you met individually with me and with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, you made a commitment that, if confirmed, you would move forward on implementing any outstanding congressionally-initiated reforms, as well as bring your own commitment to greater transparency and accountability for the EXIM bank.   

“As I have since noted in other EXIM-related hearings in this committee, your efforts to follow through on your commitment to transparency, accountability and reform have not gone unnoticed by me and by my colleagues on this committee.   

“I commend you for those efforts and encourage you to continue them. 

“In December 2019, this Congress enacted a 7-year reauthorization of the EXIM Bank, the longest authorization period in the Bank’s history.

“This extension provides much-needed certainty for U.S. exporters and strengthens an important tool for the U.S. to compete directly with China and others in the global marketplace.  

“Included in the legislation is a new initiative, focusing on China and transformational exports, which will reserve a significant portion of EXIM’s exposure authority for transactions that will put U.S. exporters in direct competition with China.    

“This program will particularly focus on U.S. exports of innovative technologies, like semiconductor manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, wireless communications, renewable energy and energy efficiency and storage, as well as emerging financial technologies. 

“The new law also includes a requirement that, in addition to its existing notification obligations to Congress, EXIM shall consult with the State Department as part of efforts to assess any risk to the national interest for any proposed transaction above $25 million involving any business entity that is controlled by the Chinese government. 

“Our reauthorization legislation also had an important focus on increasing the participation of American small businesses in EXIM projects, by raising the target from 25 percent to 30 percent for small business participation in EXIM-supported exports. 

“Chairman Reed, we look forward to any update you can provide on EXIM’s implementation of these important initiatives, and all provisions included in the December reauthorization. 

“We have discussed in previous Committee hearings, you and your board colleagues faced a number of pending transactions and other matters to address upon taking office. 

“Now that you all have had some time at EXIM, we would like to hear an update on those efforts to address those transactions and matters that had already been in the pipeline, as well as your outreach efforts to bring new American businesses and export and job creation opportunities into the pipeline. 

“Finally, with regard to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we know business and government operations all over the world have been impacted.   

“For an agency such as EXIM, with such a global scope to its mission and operations, we would be interested to hear about the challenges that you and your team have faced, as well as those faced by the American businesses and other stakeholders you work with on a daily basis as part of your mission. 

“And we would ask you to share with us any initiatives EXIM has commenced to assist U.S. exporters in dealing with the challenges of COVID, while remaining competitive, creating jobs and growing our economy.    

“Chairman Reed, thank you again for your considerable efforts, and I look forward to our continued work together on these important efforts.”