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Biden Administration to Utilize Export-Import Bank as Key Element in New International Climate Finance Plan

On April 22, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his International Climate Finance Plan as a follow up to his January Executive Order 14008 on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. 2021-02177.pdf (govinfo.gov). This International Climate Finance Plan reflects the Administration’s desire to double, by 2024, U.S. annual public climate finance to developing countries using as a baseline the average level during the second half of the Obama Administration.
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A link to the plan can be found here.

The purpose is to help developing nations reduce and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and to “build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change.” EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: U.S. International Climate Finance Plan | The White House

The Biden Climate Finance Plan is also supposed to be a boon to U.S. companies, particularly manufacturers of products and technologies viewed as environmentally beneficial. Accordingly, the Export-Import Bank of the United States is expected to play a key role in helping the Administration achieve its stated goals. As the U.S. Government’s official export credit agency, the Ex-Im Bank provides direct loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance in support of exports of U.S. goods, services, and technologies. By helping foreign buyers (public and private), Ex-Im Bank fills gaps in private export finance and supports U.S. jobs.

“As a former Member of the Export-Import Bank Board of Directors who oversaw the Bank’s Environmental Exports program, I believe the Biden Administration’s new International Climate Finance Plan will mean a great deal to domestic companies in the environmental and renewable energy sectors. The Bank will work even more diligently to identify new transactions and to offer favorable credit terms to foreign buyers in developing nations, which bodes well for U.S. companies that already export or that are considering entering the global marketplace.”

Dan Renberg, Member, Export-Import Bank Board of Directors, 1999-2003

The Ex-Im Bank role was highlighted in the Administration’s Executive Summary of the new Plan, and the President has tasked the agency to “identify ways to significantly increase, as per its mandate, its support for environmentally beneficial, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage exports from the United States.” Ex-Im Bank will do this in conjunction with other U.S. agencies, including the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (formerly OPIC), U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Department of State, Millenium Challenge Corporation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The involvement of Ex-Im Bank offers new opportunities for U.S. companies in the environmental and renewable energy sectors that are currently exporting or are considering engaging in transactions with foreign buyers. Ex-Im Bank has some particularly attractive financing tools to help domestic companies with working capital lines of credit and to help prospective foreign buyers to afford U.S. exports. Environment | EXIM.gov

Arent Fox is well-positioned to advise U.S. companies on how to secure Ex-Im Bank financing for their exports and to advise foreign buyers in the public and private sectors looking to procure goods, services, and technologies from the United States. We provide guidance on commercial banking partners that are essential to most Ex-Im Bank transactions, assist in finding export credit insurance, and provide legal counsel on commercial contracts, export licenses and controls, and on protecting intellectual property when exporting to new markets.

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