Four years after the Senate failed to renew its charter, Congress and the Trump administration gave the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) the mandate to take on Chinese aggression on behalf of U.S. businesses.
Donald Trump’s nominee to run EXIM, Kimberly Reed, explained in a recent interview precisely what she’s going to do with that mandate to compete with China’s growing influence in places like Sub-Sahara Africa.
Per The Africa Report:
Infrastructure companies from France or the UK say one of the difficulties they have in competing with companies from Asia, mostly from China, for big deals on the continent is that when a Chinese contractor comes and tries to win a tender, they come with the financing as well as with the ability to build the bridge, the railway, whatever it might be. And that’s a very powerful package, the ability to say to an African country, “Not only will we build it, but we’ll pay for it, and then you’ll pay us back later.”
How are you coordinating within the Prosper Africa initiative to come up with some kind of creative way of echoing that kind of structure so that you can compete with Chinese companies?
It’s very on point for you to ask me this question. We reopened in May 2019 and then in our country several government programs faced difficulty in authorization from time to time, and EXIM was to expire or sunset under our charter at the end of 2019. And the Congress came back and reauthorized us, thanks to President Trump’s leadership for the longest tenure in the 86 year history of EXIM, we are now reauthorized through 2026.
And as part of that reauthorization which gives foreign countries and the financial services sector certainty about the United States when it comes to EXIM’s programs, but in addition to that the Congress gave us a new mandate and that new mandate is a program called China and transformational exports.
Reed added that 20% of the EXIM portfolio is allocated to taking China on in emerging markets with competitive financing to counter their offers and advance U.S. leadership throughout the world.