The Senate is expected to vote this week on three nominees to serve on the board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, giving it the ability for the first time in years to approve large deals, including for satellites and launches.
The Indonesian communications satellite that is SpaceX’s primary payload for its second Falcon 9 launch this year overcame a change of manufacturers and the loss of a U.S. Ex-Im Bank loan to reach the launch pad.
The White House has once again nominated Barry Myers to be administrator of NOAA, as well as four people to serve on the board of the Export-Import Bank.
U.S. satellite manufacturers say they need Ex-Im Bank to have a level playing field with foreign competition. The bank currently lacks enough board members for a quorum, making large satellites, and any other deals over $10 million, bigger than what Ex-Im can finance.
U.S. senators vetting President Trump’s leadership nominations for the Export Import Bank of the United States voiced serious concerns about Scott Garrett, who as a congressman voted against the export-credit agency.
The White House has nominated three additional people to serve as directors of the Export-Import Bank, including one with experience in the satellite industry.
Robert Lighthizer told senators it would be up to President Trump to nominate new board members for the bank.
Satellite manufacturers aren’t yet sure how the policies of the Trump administration will impact their businesses.
The commercial market for geostationary communications satellites shows no signs of rebound, according to Boeing executives who attribute lackluster demand to the rapid pace of innovation in the satellite market, few launch opportunities and the inability of the U.S. Export Import Bank to finance large transactions.
More than a year and a half after the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s six-month shutdown scuttled Boeing’s sale of a satellite to a Singapore startup, Kacific has finalized its order for a high-throughput platform it will share with Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank is among nine federal programs targeted for elimination under a hit list the White House Office of Management and Budget circulated this week, according to The New York Times.
President Donald Trump made no mention of the U.S. Export-Import Bank during a speech Feb. 17 some had expected to include a call for restoring the bank’s full ending authority.
The French export-credit agency, Coface, on Sept. 13 said it was examining the OneWeb global internet-delivery constellation with an open mind but that it remains unclear whether the agency could guarantee a large portion of OneWeb’s debt.
Commercial satellite manufacturer MDA Corp. of Canada on July 28 said “a material amount” of satellite bid requests it receives is for high-throughput satellites (HTS) but that those interest are focused on a broad range of capacities, not just 1-terabit-per-second spacecraft.