Summary: H.R.5739 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (10/04/1992)

Export Enhancement Act of 1992 - Title I: Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank - Amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 (the Act) to extend through FY 1997 the authority of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Bank) to finance the export of U.S. goods and services.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1993 through 1995 for the Tied Aid Credit Fund. Makes miscellaneous changes with respect to such fund.

Requires the Bank, among other things, when determining whether to provide support for such exports under its loan, guarantee, and insurance program, to consider the need to involve private capital.

Authorizes the Bank to guarantee up to 100 percent coverage of the interest and principal of loans for the export of goods and services to foreign countries if the Board of Directors of the Bank determines such coverage to be necessary to ensure acceptance of Bank guarantees by U.S. financial institutions for any transaction in any export market in which the Bank is open for business.

Directs the Bank, for any transaction involving a project for which support of $10,000,000 or more is requested and certain environmental concerns exist, to establish procedures to take into account the potential beneficial and adverse environmental effects of goods and services which it may support under its lending and guarantee programs. Authorizes the Board to withhold financing for environmental reasons or to approve financing after considering the potential environmental effects of a project. Encourages the Bank to use its programs to support the export of goods and services that have beneficial effects on the environment or mitigate potential adverse environmental effects.

Requires the Bank with respect to every long-term loan or guarantee of at least $10,000,000 to ensure that U.S. insurance companies are accorded a fair and open competitive opportunity to provide insurance against risk of loss with respect to the exports financed.

Makes eligible for Enterprise for the Americas Facility benefits Latin American or Caribbean countries that: (1) have in effect, received approval for, or are making progress toward, specified International Monetary Fund arrangements and structural or sectoral adjustment loans from the World Bank or the International Development Association; (2) have put in place major investment reforms in conjunction with an Inter-American Development Bank loan or are implementing or making progress toward an open investment regime; and (3) have agreed with commercial bank lenders on a financing program for debt or debt service reduction.

Authorizes the President to: (1) sell to any eligible purchaser any loan made to an eligible country before 1992 pursuant to the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945; and (2) reduce or cancel such loan on receipt of payment from an eligible purchaser only for purposes of facilitating debt-for-equity, debt-for-development, or debt-for-nature swaps, and debt buy-backs. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires fees and premiums charged to be commensurate with risks covered in connection with the contractual liability which the Bank incurs for guarantees, insurance, coinsurance, and reinsurance against political and credit risks of loss. (Currently, not less than 25 percent of such contractual liability may be charged against such risks of loss.)

Increases the ceiling on the total amount of outstanding loans for Bank programs from $40,000,000,000 to $75,000,000,000.

Redefines the term "Marxist-Leninist country" to mean any country that maintains a centrally planned economy based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism (currently, Marxist-Leninism), or is economically and militarily dependent on any other such country (currently, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or on any other Marxist-Leninist country). Revises the list of countries deemed to be Marxist-Leninist countries for purposes of eligibility for Bank financing programs.

Removes Angola from the list of Marxist-Leninist countries to which Bank assistance is prohibited.

Extends indefinitely the authority of the Bank to guarantee, insure, or participate in an extension of credit in connection with any credit sale of defense articles or services to foreign countries.

Prohibits the Board of Directors of the Bank from approving the guarantee or insurance of a sale of such items unless, among other things, the President determines that the purchasing country has complied with all U.S. restrictions on their end use and has not used them to engage in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Requires the Bank to report quarterly to specified congressional committees on all instances it guaranteed, insured, or extended credit in connection with the sale of defense articles, services, or related technical data that would not be put to military use.

Repeals a provision of the Arms Export Control Act prohibiting certain financing of sales of defense articles or services by the Bank.

Increases the membership of the Bank Advisory Committee from 12 to 15 members.

Directs the Bank to: (1) develop a program for providing guarantees and insurance with respect to the export of high technology items to eligible Eastern European countries (defined under the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989); and (2) inform high technology companies about Bank programs for U.S. companies interested in exporting high technology goods to such countries. Earmarks funding for such programs.

Directs the Bank to: (1) provide current information on all of its programs and financing practices to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other Federal agencies involved in promoting exports and marketing export financing programs, and State and local export financing organizations that indicate a desire to participate in export promotion; and (2) undertake a program to provide training for personnel with respect to such financing programs.

Sets forth provisions with respect to the compensation of Bank employees. Requires reports to the Congress and specified congressional committees with respect to Bank: (1) recruitment and employee retention problems; (2) regional offices; and (3) financing of high technology services.

Directs the Bank to report to the Congress on the demand for loans, guarantees, and insurance for trade between the United States and the Baltic States, the former Soviet Union (including all successor states), and central and eastern Europe, including recommendations for the promotion of trade between the United States and such countries.

Requires the Bank to include in a specified annual report a description of its role in implementing the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee's strategic plan for trade promotion.

Requires the Bank to issue stock certificates to the President to the extent of payments made by the United States for such Bank stock.

Repeals specified provisions of the Act.

Title II: Export Promotion - Amends the Export Enhancement Act of 1988 to direct the President to establish the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to coordinate U.S. export promotion and financing activities. Requires the TPCC to develop a governmentwide strategic plan for Federal trade promotion efforts, and to report annually to specified congressional committees.

Requires the United States and Foreign Commercial Service to place primary emphasis on the promotion of U.S. goods and services, particularly by small- and medium-sized businesses, and on the protection of U.S. businesses abroad by, among other things, the: (1) utilization of its district and foreign offices as one-stop shops for U.S. exporters by providing exporters with information on all Federal export promotion activities, assisting exporters in identifying which Federal programs may be of greatest assistance, and assisting them in making contact with such programs; and (2) provision of information to U.S. exporters and export finance institutions on all financing and insurance programs of the Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade and Development Program, and the Small Business Administration, including assistance in completing applications for such programs and working with such exporters and finance institutions to address any deficiencies in such applications. Requires the aforementioned entities to: (1) provide full and current information on all of their programs and financing practices to the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service; and (2) undertake a training program for Service Officers with respect to such programs and practices.

Declares it is U.S. policy to foster the export of U.S. environmental technologies, goods, and services.

Directs the President to establish the Environmental Trade Promotion Working Group, as a subcommittee of the TPCC, to: (1) address all issues with respect to the export promotion and export financing of U.S. environmental technologies, goods, and services; and (2) develop a strategy for expanding such items.

Requires the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), as part of the Department of Commerce's regular market survey and information services activities, to make available: (1) information on existing and emerging markets and market trends for such items; and (2) a description of the export promotion programs for such items of the agencies that are represented on the Working Group.

Requires the chairperson of the TPCC to report to the Congress on: (1) the extent to which Federal investment insurance and export financing programs protect against business failures or default on obligations arising from changes in environmental laws of foreign governments; and (2) the feasibility of expanding the coverage of such programs to address such risks.

Increases from eight to sixteen the number of missions that the Secretary may designate abroad and for which senior Commercial Service Officers will be able to use the diplomatic title of Minister-Counselor.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) submit annual reports on the U.S. international economic position; and (2) appear annually before specified congressional committees to testify on issues addressed in the report.

Amends the Export Administration Amendments Act of 1985 to authorize appropriations for FY 1993 and 1994 to the Department of Commerce.

Title III: Miscellaneous - Establishes the John Heinz Excellence Award, to be evidenced by a national medal minted and provided to the Congress by the U.S. Mint.

Allows two such separate awards to be presented annually (one to a qualifying individual, including Federal, State, or local government employees, and one to a qualifying organization, institution, or business).

Prohibits presentation of an award within a category in a given year if there is no qualified individual, organization, institution, or business recommended by the selection panel established by this Act.

Sets forth qualification criteria for such awards.

Requires the Senate majority and minority leaders and the House Speaker and Minority Leader to present such award to an individual and an organization, institution, or business that has demonstrated excellence in promoting U.S. industrial competitiveness in the international marketplace through technological innovation, productivity improvement, or improved competitive strategies.

Directs the Office of Technology Assessment to: (1) ensure that all nominees receive a detailed summary of any evaluation conducted of such nominee; and (2) make available to the nominee and the public a summary of each award winner's competitiveness strategy (excluding proprietary information unless the award winner consents).