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BUSH ADMINISTRATION STREAMLINES GOVERNMENT SERVICES FOR U.S. EXPORTERS

Two Agencies To Link Trade Information, Counseling, and Financing Services To Help U.S. Businesses Compete For Overseas Sales

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200 - Victoria Park (202) 483-0310

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced new measures today to better coordinate export-counseling services and streamline and simplify access to financing for U.S. firms that compete for international export sales. Ex-Im Bank Vice Chairman Eduardo Aguirre and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development Linda Conlin signed two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that strengthen inter-agency cooperation to support U.S. exporters.

This Administration is committed to expanding trade opportunities in global markets, Conlin said. We are streamlining our services so we can help U.S. businesses be more competitive as they seek to grow and create more jobs for American workers.

These agreements exemplify how the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) is successfully bringing together government resources on behalf of U.S. exporters, Aguirre said. The goal is to leverage what each agency does best so that U.S. businesses can increase overseas sales and support jobs here at home.

As a result of one MOU, individuals who call Ex-Im Bank's toll-free 1-800-565-EXIM line seeking general export and trade-finance assistance or information on federal trade programs will be directly routed to the Department of Commerce's award-winning Trade Information Center (TIC). The TIC's highly trained staff provides counseling and information to 70,000 customers annually on export start-up, documentation, country and customs requirements, and other federal trade resources. Ex-Im Bank staff will also be at the TIC to answer inquiries on Ex-Im Bank programs. The TIC can be reached at 1-800-USA-TRADE, or online at www.export.gov/tic.

The second MOU enables U.S. companies that contact the Commerce Department's Trade Advocacy Center for assistance with bidding on foreign procurement contracts to be linked with Ex-Im Bank for information on export financing. The MOU
reflects U.S. business input that there be better coordination between the Advocacy Center, which coordinates high-level federal support for U.S. exporters, and Ex-Im Bank to promote U.S. exports.

The Office of Trade Development (TD) of the Department of Commerce offers U.S.businesses resources and services for all stages of the exporting process. With industry-focused experts to provide strategic research and analysis, TD helps small and large U.S. businesses access the global marketplace. TD also administers 1-800-USA-TRADE, a nationwide hotline available to companies seeking government export assistance and counseling.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing guarantees, insurance, and loans. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.