WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed legislation that renews the charter of the Export-Import Bank for three years and increases the bank’s lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion. The bank is the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales.

Obama says the move will help thousands of businesses sell their products and services overseas and help them create jobs at home. The president says the independent federal agency is a key factor toward reaching his goal of doubling exports over five years.

Lawmakers passed the legislation earlier this month amid resistance from conservatives who argued that the bank distorts the market. The bank had support from numerous business groups. Last year it provided about $32 billion in loans, loan guarantees and credit financing, helping support 290,000 jobs.

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