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Trade and Exports: Bringing Rural and Urban Economic Development Together

Colorado Rural Economic Forum

Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President

Oct 11, 2012 – Pueblo, CO

The brightest spot in our economic recovery Is America's surging export economy - which now accounts for $2.17 trillion of our total GDP of $15.6 trillion [Q2 2012] - an all-time high.

U.S. exports have had record growth over the past four years while much of the rest of the economy has struggled. In the second quarter of this year, U.S. exports averaged $184 billion a month.

That's up by 44 percent from the monthly average in the first quarter of 2009, when President Obama took office.

These translate into significant job growth in recent years - 5.1 million more private sector jobs in the last 31 months - and the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009.

Helping that growth is President Obama's National Export Initiative - a coordinated effort to help businesses expand their overseas sales - or, more important, begin exporting.Only about one percent of U.S. businesses export anything, so there's plenty of room for improvement.Almost all of those are small and medium size businesses, which is where you and the Export-Import Bank come in.

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Ex-Im Bank supports a broad range of agricultural commodities and equipment.

We support livestock exports through one of Ex-Im's short or medium-term products.

We support commodity exports, such as wheat and grains, through the short-term insurance program - and are an important factor in wheat exports from states like Colorado.Cargill is one of our biggest customers.

But you don't have to be big.In fact, 85 percent of our customers are small businesses.

Under our open account payment terms, our insurance protects exporters against default by foreign buyers - paying 95 percent of the loss if the buyer can't pay for commercial reasons.

For example, earlier this year, the Bank provided a multi-buyer policy that enabled Northern Feed & Bean of Lucerne, Colorado, to export its pinto beans to overseas buyers.

We provided another multi-buyer policy for honey exports by Rice's Lucky Clover Honey of Greeley.

Medium-term financing has been used extensively by U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of new and used farm equipment.

These include capital equipment - tractors, combines, seeders, sprayers and grain storage facilities -- great American global brands such as John Deere and Navistar - but also lesser known, but no less great, small and family owned businesses.

The range of equipment benefitting from the Bank's support goes from small, such as disc harrows, to complex machinery such as seeders and combines.

Beyond the sale of equipment and commodities, Ex-Im Bank can help U.S. exporters and suppliers with financing for agricultural projects.

Examples include the export of greenhouses to individual growers to the development of large-scale integrated meat processing facilities - to everything in between.

Regardless of the size and scope of an exporter's involvement in foreign agricultural activities, we have a financing program to meet your needs.

Even though it's not agricultural - this is Colorado, after all - so I have to mention our $105 million loan last week to the Brazilian state of Ceará

Our loan helped win the contract for International Concepts Management of Grand Junction to build a spectacular aquarium on the beach in Fortaleza.This creates some 700 U.S. jobs - good jobs where and when we need them.

In short, we're out to increase U.S. exports and recruit even more businesses to become exporters.Come log on to www.exim.gov, talk with the Colorado Department of Agriculture about our programs, or simply visit with me here today.