American exporters do not have the same level of government support in overseas markets as foreign suppliers. Foreign firms typically have the full backing of their national governments through direct investment and/or seamless and extensive public-private partnerships that promote the expansion of their national nuclear supply chain, including services. By contrast, U.S exporters suffer from fragmented government support and are subject to a web of regulations that are complex and cumbersome.
Although some functions performed by various agencies of the U.S. government may be instrumental for U.S. commercial nuclear exports, other functions are often poorly coordinated (and often at cross purposes) with each other and with U.S. industry. Ineffective U.S. government coordination hurts U.S. exporters, who are private companies that vary in size and structure from small consulting and manufacturing firms to large investor-owned corporations.
Competitive Export Financing
Competitive financing for U.S. exports is vital in the commercial nuclear sector, but export finance suffers from poor U.S. government coordination. Although the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) supports nuclear projects, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) excludes nuclear power projects under its social and environmental responsibility policy. Further, despite declared administration support for nuclear power and U.S. commercial nuclear exports, the federal government does not protest the World Bank Group’s exclusion of nuclear projects from its investment portfolio.