Make More in America: EXIM Bank’s Move into the Domestic Finance Realm

Louis Emery, senior counsel at the law firm Robert Wray, PLLC in Washington DC, and David Fiore, vice president of the transportation division at the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States, explore the “Make More in America” (MMIA) initiative – the bank’s new programme to move into the domestic finance realm.

Published on 15 March 2024
Louis E Emery, Robert Wray PLLC, Chambers expert focus contributor
Louis E Emery
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David R Fiore, Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States, Chambers export focus contributor
David R Fiore
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The EXIM MMIA initiative grew out of a recommendation from the Biden administration that EXIM Bank explore the possibility of implementing a domestic finance programme that would finance the establishment or the expansion of US manufacturing facilities and infrastructure projects in the United States, that would support current and future exports.

The objective of the programme is to support domestic companies and strengthen the US manufacturing base, and the US supply chain base, across various industries, at the same time expanding export capacity and continuing to meet EXIM Bank’s mission of supporting exports.

By being able to support a domestic export capacity, EXIM Bank can now provide a range of financing products across the entire life cycle of export finance. Involvement would start with domestic financing, for example, to help a company build a factory, then moving into working capital and supply chain finance programmes to support the actual manufacturing process, ultimately supporting export financing through the bank’s medium- and long-term loan guarantee and insurance products.

The bank’s board approved the programme in April 2022, and MMIA has been implemented since then, with relevant parties actively meeting and developing a robust pipeline of transactions, in the region of USD3 billion.

Louis and David discuss the process for those wanting to apply to the bank to see whether they might qualify for this programme, as well as looking at the two main parameters, namely a hook or connection to exports (the export nexus) – with small businesses, “transformational exports”, and much larger projects having different criteria – and the amount of jobs created over the life of the project, which are required to be shown by applicants. The bank will also conduct an environmental and social review of any proposed export project.

The programme will be able to service a reasonable number of small businesses along with other larger, project finance-type deals.

While there are quite a few other agencies in the US that have different types of programmes that are focused on different niches or different objectives, the aim of MMIA is not to overlap or compete with sister agencies, but to find the most appropriate fit for any potential deal.

"This is an exciting programme and we’re really excited about the progress we have made to date, and the progress that we can continue making in the coming year."

Robert Wray PLLC

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