As the days go on, a full five-year reauthorisation of US Exim is becoming “less and less likely” by the June 30 deadline, says a representative from the bank.

Speaking at GTR’s North America Trade & Export Finance conference in New York last week, Claudia Slacik, chief banking officer and senior vice-president, export finance at US Exim, told the audience and GTR that she “fully expects” full reauthorisation, but questioned the likelihood of that happening by the end of the month.

She noted that delays were due to the bank being used as a “political football”.

A procedural vote in early June illustrated that there are more than the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass legislation reauthorising the bank. The House is expected to pose a bigger challenge for the bank.

Should its charter temporarily expire at the end of June, Slacik assured conference delegates that the bank would continue to work on existing deals with existing clients and would simply cease doing any new business. “It’s not that we don’t have the money,” she said. “We have the money until September 30.”

She was confident that once reauthorisation is granted, it will be for the full five years.

Backing the bank’s call for a renewed charter at the event was Ambassador Robert Holleyman, deputy United States trade representative, who delivered the keynote speech.

“Congress needs to pass long-term reauthorisation for US Exim. We believe that’s absolutely critical to be certain that the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose jobs depend on a level playing field for US goods and services have the kind of opportunities that they need going forward,” he told the audience.

Holleyman highlighted the threat of “aggressive foreign competitors” who American exporters may lose out to due to the bank’s uncertain future.