Index for May 2015

Volume 14, Issue 5

  • (Reuters, Barcelona, 27 May 2015) The world's richest nations are unlikely to reach a deal to phase out subsidies for coal exports at talks in June, reducing the chances of a new global climate change agreement at a U.N. conference in Paris, officials and campaigners say. The export credits help developed nations supply coal-fired generation and mining technology to poor nations, a practice critics say harms attempts to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been seeking for a year to agree to phase out export credits for coal, the most polluting fossil fuel. But officials and campaigners said a breakthrough would be difficult when the issue is raised at ministerial level next week and at a meeting of the OECD's coal export credit group set for June 9-12.

  • (Global Trade Review, London, 13 April 2015) The Labour Party's Cole Commission has called for the combination of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) agencies into one entity to achieve better co-ordination and support of British exporters. Cornerhouse, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Friends of the Earth UK have argued that the continued subsidy of exporters through UKEF is only justifiable if such support is conditional on compliance with rigorous human rights and environmental safeguards and directed to incentivising a shift towards a low-carbon economy. This should include the adoption of legally-enforceable environmental and human rights standards and should empower the Secretary of State to prohibit support for classes of exports whose impacts are inconsistent with furthering the UK’s sustainable development and human rights objectives.

  • (Trade and Export Finance, Rome, 15 May 2015) SACE has signed a technical cooperation agreement to increase the capacity of the Iranian ECA, Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI). Under the agreement, SACE will offer EGFI advisory and training services on products, processes and risk assessment and management, with the objective of transferring to the Iranian ECA the instruments and know-how necessary to sustain Iranian companies in developing and implementing growth plans based on exports.

  • (Global Trade Review, Beijing, 14 May 2015) Italy’s ECA Sace and China’s Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), have signed a reinsurance agreement aimed at facilitating projects and deals involving Italian and Chinese companies. The agreement renews and extends a collaboration initiated in 2006, creating a platform for sharing risk in export-related strategic projects of mutual interest for both Italian and Chinese companies.

  • (Trade and Export Finance, Moscow, 14 May 2015) Russian state corporation Vnesheconombank (VEB) has increased business with Chinese institutions by signing a $8 billion framework credit agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) and a credit line agreement with Chinese export credit agency the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim). Both agreements were signed during a formal visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping to Russia. The credit line signed with China Exim is worth RMB3.9 billion ($630 million) and has a tenor of 15 years. The loan will go towards a project being implemented by the mining and smelting company CHEK-SU VK.

  • (Belarussian News, Minsk, 11 May 2015) Belarus and China's Eximbank have signed loan agreements to the tune of over $1 billion, Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said as he met with President of the Export-Import Bank of China Hu Xiaolian on 11 May. According to Andrei Kobyakov, China's Eximbank and Belarus are currently implementing 17 loan agreements to the tune of over $4 billon, more than $3 billion have been utilized. According to Andrei Kobyakov, Belarus and the Chinese bank implement joint initiatives within the framework of the concept to revive the Silk Road

  • (Washington Examiner, Washington, 14 May 2015) Kevin Varney, chief of staff at the Export-Import Bank for Obama's first term, joined Boeing as a director this month, according to his LinkedIn page. Boeing is by far the largest recipient of Export-Import Bank subsidies — typically benefitting from about 40 percent of all Ex-Im financing. Varney left Ex-Im in 2013 and joined a consultancy called 32 Advisors, founded by banker and Obama golfing buddy Robert Wolf. RedState has a story on the many revolving door connections between 32 Advisors and Ex-Im, but the new detail is that Varney has jumped to Boeing.

  • (TXFNews, Washington, 30 April 2015) The US’ House of Democrats today set in motion a process to bypass the House Republican leadership that would force a vote on legislation to the extend the charter of the country’s export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The move comes with just 26 legislative days left until the bank is due to shut down on 30 June. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer and three key members of the Financial Services Committee have joined forces to sign a discharge petition – a procedure that, if supported by the majority of the House, would bring legislation to reauthorise and reform US Ex-Im up for a vote. Rep Denny Heck (D-WA), Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade Rep Gwen Moore (D-WI), led the effort on the House Floor this morning.

  • (Global Trade Review, Hamburg, 15 May 2015) European corporates speaking at GTR‘s Europe Trade and Export Finance Conference in Hamburg are moving away from ECA cover only and resorting to private insurance more and more, due to the growing complexity of deal structures. GTR catches up with exporters, insurers and ECAs to assess the state of the market. Collaboration was one of the key topics discussed at the event: now that the private insurance sector has returned to pre-crisis capacity levels, export credit agencies (ECAs) are involved in fewer export deals.

Volume 14, Issue 6

  • (Forbes, Washington, 15 June 2015) [Comment/blog from Adam Andrzejewski of American Transparency, Burr Ridge IL] Between now and the end of June, Congress will decide the fate of the federal agency, Export – Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States, either by doing nothing and letting the bank expire or by voting to let the bank continue. Critics say the bank is the epitome of cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare. Supporters, on the other hand, argue the bank boosts our national security, supports domestic jobs, and levels the global economic playing field. American Transparency ( fact checked the claims of politicians and pundits with the release of a 30 page Federal Transfer Report – Export – Import Bank. One special section of our oversight report addresses a topic that hasn’t received much attention. We looked at large private banks that have processed more than $125 billion in Ex-Im supported transactions since 2007. These private-sector bank beneficiaries processing Ex-Im supported transactions around the world have so far avoided intense scrutiny. They include Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, New York Mellon, Deutsche, Bank of America, and many others.