The House of Representatives voted this week to renew Export-Import Bank assistance to U.S. companies competing against subsidized foreign rivals.
The legislation, approved Tuesday, would continue a program that ties foreign aid to trade in selected industries.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Michael N. Castle, R-Neb., who is chairman of the House Banking Committee's domestic and international monetary policy subcommittee.
"The tied-aid program is an important tool for American companies to compete against international exporters," Rep. Castle said. "It allows the Ex-Im Bank to respond to American exporters' need for competitive financing in developing markets."
The House also passed a bill to authorize a coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution. Rep. Castle said the Smithsonian coin would meet the criteria of the Commemorative Coin Reform Act, which the House passed earlier this year. The reforms, which he sponsored, are meant to ensure that commemorative coins minted by the Treasury have sufficient collector demand to cover production costs.
The bill would also authorize the first platinum coin in U.S. history.