A week after the charter for the Export-Import Bank lapsed — halting the bank’s ability to grant new loans to foreign buyers of U.S. goods — manufacturers say they are already feeling the squeeze.

The bank is the official credit export agency of the United States, offering loans, loan guarantees and insurance to foreign purchasers of products made by U.S. companies. Its backers say it plays a critical role in supporting U.S. exports because it at times offers lower interest rates and has a higher tolerance for risks associated with projects in developing countries than private banks and insurers. The bank’s critics, conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups, say the agency plays favorites by disproportionately aiding large corporations like Boeing, whose products are sold abroad with the help of Ex-Im-backed loans.

Lawmakers could revive the bank later this summer, possibly by attaching it to a must-pass highway bill. But that may not be soon enough to save foreign deals that some businesses say are at risk of falling apart.


Kusum Kavia, president of California-based power plant manufacturer Combustion Associates, told Southern California Public Radio that she had to inform Nigerian investors last week that the Ex-Im financing she had promised for a major pending deal was no longer available. Her company is negotiating with investors to build a 44-megawatt plant in Nigeria, but that could fall through because the investors want to sign a contract next month. Without Ex-Im backing, the company could lose the work to competitors in Europe, China and Korea.

But some U.S. companies that have benefited from Ex-Im backing say they have been able to shift to private financing after the bank’s charter lapsed. Nebraska-based manufacturers Lindsay Corp., which makes pumping systems and other irrigation products, and Warren Distribution, which makes auto parts, told the Omaha World-Herald they recently turned to the private market to buy insurance. Both had previously used Ex-Im insurance, which insures foreign buyers that the goods promised will be shipped.

In other lobbying news:


Comings and goings

Layth Elhassani, a former special assistant to President Obama in the White House’s legislative affairs office, has joined the lobbying group at Covington & Burling.

Following the money

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)’s Friends of Mark Warner is hosting a lunch at Acqua Al 2 in Washington (Contribution information: $2,500/$2,000/$1,000/$500).

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)’s Friends of Mazie Hirono is hosting July Ohana Trust Happy Hour at Johnny’s Half Shell in Washington (Contribution information: $1,000/$500).


Payday lenders gave $15 million to top Republicans ahead of 2014 elections: Payday and other short-term loan companies spent $15 million trying to influence lawmakers during the 2013-14 election cycle, including $11 million in lobbying and $4 million in campaign contributions, The Hill reports, citing the left-leaning Americans for Financial Reform. The top congressional recipient was House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), whose panel oversees payday lending practices. He collected $210,500 from the industry. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee received a combined total of nearly $300,000.


CVS Health leaves U.S. Chamber of Commerce: CVS Health announced Tuesday that it is leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce following reports that the trade group has been lobbying to ease restrictions on tobacco sales around the world, The Washington Post reports. CVS last year became the first major drugstore to remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from its stores.

New lobbying contracts

PhRMA has hired Hance Scarborough to lobby on patent reform regarding pharmaceutical research and products.

BAE Systems has hired Horinko Group to lobby on issues surrounding EPA Superfund site.

Goldman Sachs has hired US Policy Strategies for the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015.


National Rural Lenders Association has hired GT Bynum Consulting to lobby on rural lending issues.

New lobbying terminations

Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology Inc. has ended its contract with Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Please send news and tips to catherine.ho@washpost.com

Clarification: This story has been updated to make clear that the Export-Import Bank offers lower interest rates in some but not all cases.