On Thursday morning, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the Make More in America Initiative, a program that will release additional financing for American projects and bolster manufacturing, supply chain, and employment needs. EXIM’s Make More in America Initiative will immediately open up availability to existing medium- and long-term loans and loan guarantees — for export-driven domestic manufacturing projects, and at lower rates of interest — to afford new financing opportunities to spark manufacturing in the United States, support American jobs, and boost America’s ability to compete around the globe.

The Make More in America Initiative was developed in response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14017 on American Supply Chains, as well as to groundwork laid during the Trump Administration with an Executive Order involving port infrastructure. The initiative provides American manufacturers new access to capital to fill critical supply chain gaps. To enhance trade and infrastructure, U.S. seaports may use EXIM funds to finance infrastructure projects that yield higher outputs of trade and freight volumes. EXIM financing would supplement financial gaps limited under bonding authority in port funding. The EXIM initiative’s financing is dually advantageous in that it will alleviate infrastructure concerns impeding efficient trade, but can also help get seaports’ projects up and running.

AAPA and its members worked with EXIM during the early construction and solicitation stages of the Make More in America Initiative and provided comments — both in support of the program and to address how it will serve the seaport and maritime industry.

AAPA released the following statement regarding the Thursday approval of the EXIM initiative, “AAPA strongly supports EXIM’s domestic financing initiative, which will provide seaports an alternative option for funding critical infrastructure needs, in addition to worthy projects that yield higher trade outputs and cargo volumes. U.S. seaports can put EXIM funds to good use, not only to expand and revitalize necessary infrastructure, but to bolster trade, enhance export capabilities of U.S. manufacturers, and create jobs. On behalf of the seaport and maritime industry, AAPA thanks and applauds EXIM for this practical and valuable initiative.”

EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis commented following the initiative’s approval, “The Make More in America Initiative will create new financing opportunities that spur manufacturing in the United States, support American jobs and boost America’s ability to compete with countries like China. ... The global pandemic and other recent events have exposed supply chain gaps in critical sectors like advanced manufacturing and renewable energy. EXIM’s Make More in America Initiative will be a key tool in tackling these issues, and it will ultimately help America manufacture more and export more.”