12 U.S.C. § 635 - Powers and functions of Bank

Cite as12 U.S.C. § 635

(a) General banking business; use of mails; publication of documents, reports, contracts, etc.; use of assets and allocated or borrowed money; payment of dividends; medium-term financing; dissemination of information; enhancement of medium-term program

(1) There is created a corporation with the name Export-Import Bank of the United States, which shall be an agency of the United States of America. The objects and purposes of the Bank shall be to aid in financing and to facilitate exports of goods and services, imports, and the exchange of commodities and services between the United States or any of its territories or insular possessions and any foreign country or the agencies or nationals of any such country, and in so doing to contribute to the employment of United States workers. The Bank's objective in authorizing loans, guarantees, insurance, and credits shall be to contribute to maintaining or increasing employment of United States workers. In connection with and in furtherance of its objects and purposes, the bank is authorized and empowered to do a general banking business except that of circulation; to receive deposits; to purchase, discount, rediscount, sell, and negotiate, with or without its endorsement or guaranty, and to guarantee notes, drafts, checks, bills of exchange, acceptances, including bankers' acceptances, cable transfers, and other evidences of indebtedness; to guarantee, insure, coinsure, and reinsure against political and credit risks of loss; to purchase, sell, and guarantee securities but not to purchase with its funds any stock in any other corporation except that it may acquire any such stock through the enforcement of any lien or pledge or otherwise to satisfy a previously contracted indebtedness to it; to accept bills and drafts drawn upon it; to issue letters of credit; to purchase and sell coin, bullion, and exchange; to borrow and to lend money; to perform any act herein authorized in participation with any other person, including any individual, partnership, corporation, or association; to adopt, alter, and use a corporate seal, which shall be judicially noticed; to sue and to be sued, to complain and to defend in any court of competent jurisdiction; to represent itself or to contract for representation in all legal and arbitral proceedings outside the United States; and the enumeration of the foregoing powers shall not be deemed to exclude other powers necessary to the achievement of the objects and purposes of the bank. The bank shall be entitled to the use of the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as the executive departments of the Government. The Bank is authorized to publish or arrange for the publication of any documents, reports, contracts, or other material necessary in connection with or in furtherance of its objects and purposes without regard to the provisions of section 501 of title 44 whenever the Bank determines that publication in accordance with the provisions of such section would not be practicable. Subject to regulations which the Bank shall issue pursuant to section 553 of title 5, the Bank may impose and collect reasonable fees to cover the costs of conferences and seminars sponsored by, and publications provided by, the Bank, and may accept reimbursement for travel and subsistence expenses incurred by a director, officer, or employee of the Bank, in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5. Amounts received under the preceding sentence shall be credited to the fund which initially paid for such activities and shall be offset against the expenses of the Bank for such activities. The bank is authorized to use all of its assets and all moneys which have been or may hereafter be allocated to or borrowed by it in the exercise of its functions. Net earnings of the bank after reasonable provision for possible losses shall be used for payment of dividends on capital stock. Any such dividends shall be deposited into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

(2) In order for the Bank to be competitive in all of its financing programs with countries whose exports compete with United States exports, the Bank shall establish a program that-

(A) provides medium-term financing where necessary to be fully competitive-

(i) at rates of interest to the customer which are equal to rates established in international agreements;

(ii) in amounts up to 85 percent of the total cost of the exports involved; and

(iii) with principal amounts of not more than $25,000,000; and

(B) enables the Bank to cooperate fully with the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to develop a program for purposes of disseminating information (using existing private institutions) to small business concerns regarding the medium-term financing provided under this paragraph.

(3) ENHANCEMENT OF MEDIUM-TERM PROGRAM.-To enhance the medium-term financing program established pursuant to paragraph (2), the Bank shall establish measures to-

(A) improve the competitiveness of the Bank's medium-term financing and ensure that its medium-term financing is fully competitive with that of other major official export credit agencies;

(B) ease the administrative burdens and procedural and documentary requirements imposed on the users of medium-term financing;

(C) attract the widest possible participation of private financial institutions and other sources of private capital in the medium-term financing of United States exports; and

(D) render the Bank's medium-term financing as supportive of United States exports as is its Direct Loan Program.

(b) Guarantees, insurance, and extension of credit functions; competitive with Government-supported rates and terms and conditions of foreign exporting countries; survey and report; interest rates; private capital encouragement; national interest determinations; delivery of United States services in international commerce; small business concern encouragement; coverage of losses by Foreign Credit Insurance Association; loans to Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for fossil fuel research, etc.; nuclear safeguards violations resulting in limitations on exports and credit; defense article credit sales to less developed countries; amount outstanding; supplementation of Commodity Credit Corporation programs; limitations on authority of Bank; prohibition relating to Angola


(A) It is the policy of the United States to foster expansion of exports of manufactured goods, agricultural products, and other goods and services, thereby contributing to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income, a commitment to reinvestment and job creation, and the increased development of the productive resources of the United States. To meet this objective in all its programs, the Export-Import Bank is directed, in the exercise of its functions, to provide guarantees, insurance, and extensions of credit at rates and on terms and other conditions which are fully competitive with the Government-supported rates and terms and other conditions available for the financing of exports of goods and services from the principal countries whose exporters compete with United States exporters, including countries the governments of which are not members of the Arrangement (as defined in section 635i-3(h)(3) of this title). The Bank shall, in cooperation with the export financing instrumentalities of other governments, seek to minimize competition in government-supported export financing and shall, in cooperation with other appropriate United States Government agencies, seek to reach international agreements to reduce government subsidized export financing.

(B) It is further the policy of the United States that loans made by the Bank in all its programs shall bear interest at rates determined by the Board of Directors, consistent with the Bank's mandate to support United States exports at rates and on terms and conditions which are fully competitive with exports of other countries, and consistent with international agreements. For the purpose of the preceding sentence, rates and terms and conditions need not be identical in all respects to those offered by foreign countries, but should be established so that the effect of such rates, terms, and conditions for all the Bank's programs, including those for small businesses and for medium-term financing, will be to neutralize the effect of such foreign credit on international sales competition. The Bank shall consider its average cost of money as one factor in its determination of interest rates, where such consideration does not impair the Bank's primary function of expanding United States exports through fully competitive financing. The Bank may not impose a credit application fee unless (i) the fee is competitive with the average fee charged by the Bank's primary foreign competitors, and (ii) the borrower or the exporter is given the option of paying the fee at the outset of the loan or over the life of the loan and the present value of the fee determined under either such option is the same amount. It is also the policy of the United States that the Bank in the exercise of its functions should supplement and encourage, and not compete with, private capital; that the Bank, in determining whether to provide support for a transaction under the loan, guarantee, or insurance program, or any combination thereof, shall consider the need to involve private capital in support of United States exports as well as the cost of the transaction as calculated in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 [ 2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.]; that the Bank shall accord equal opportunity to export agents and managers, independent export firms, export trading companies, and small commercial banks in the formulation and implementation of its programs; that the Bank should give emphasis to assisting new and small business entrants in the agricultural export market, and shall, in cooperation with other relevant Government agencies, including the Commodity Credit Corporation, develop a program of education to increase awareness of export opportunities among small agribusinesses and cooperatives; that loans, so far as possible consistent with the carrying out of the purposes of subsection (a), shall generally be for specific purposes, and, in the judgment of the Board of Directors, offer reasonable assurance of repayment; and that in authorizing any loan or guarantee, the Board of Directors shall take into account any serious adverse effect of such loan or guarantee on the competitive position of United States industry, the availability of materials which are in short supply in the United States, and employment in the United States, and shall give particular emphasis to the objective of strengthening the competitive position of United States exporters and thereby of expanding total United States exports. Only in cases where the President, after consultation with the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, determines that such action would be in the national interest where such action would clearly and importantly advance United States policy in such areas as international terrorism (including, when relevant, a foreign nation's lack of cooperation in efforts to eradicate terrorism), nuclear proliferation, the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the Arms Export Control Act [ 22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.], the International Emergency Economic Powers Act [ 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.], or the Export Administration Act of 1979, environmental protection and human rights (such as are provided in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948) (including child labor), should the Export-Import Bank deny applications for credit for nonfinancial or noncommercial considerations. Each such determination shall be delivered in writing to the President of the Bank, shall state that the determination is made pursuant to this section, and shall specify the applications or categories of applications for credit which should be denied by the Bank in furtherance of the national interest.

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