US Congress approves Ex-Im reauthorization only to June 2015

(Devex, Washington, 6 October 2014) Congress has voted to reauthorize Ex-Im, the government agency that finances U.S. exports of goods and services — but only through June 30, 2015. The measure passed after it was tucked into a much larger spending bill that also funded the Obama administration’s Ebola response. In a debate largely fought along ideological lines, tea party Republicans argued that Ex-Im has a history of financing politically favored companies. Advocates for Ex-Im, including the Obama administration, insisted that in the face of stiff global competition, the bank’s support is needed to sustain American businesses and jobs. Drawing far less scrutiny and attention in Washington, however, is the reality that Ex-Im is also emerging as a key player in Power Africa, U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiative to double access to energy across sub-Saharan Africa by 2018. In fact, of Obama’s $7 billion, five-year pledge to Power Africa announced last year, up to $5 billion in financing is slated to come from the bank.