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Chairman Reed Meets with 150 Florida Businesses and Bankers to Discuss EXIM’s Tools for Continued Growth of Florida’s Small Business Exports and Jobs


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Miami – President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Kimberly A. Reed wrapped up a three-day visit to Florida, which started in Tampa, with two days in the Miami area, where she met with a cross-section of 150 EXIM customers, business owners, bankers, and community leaders to underscore how EXIM can support American jobs by helping U.S. businesses export their “Made in the U.S.A.” products around the world.

Chairman Discusses Export Finance Solutions at Minority Business Town Hall Meeting

During a Minority Business Town Hall Meeting at Miami International Airport today with exporters, Chairman Reed, along with EXIM Regional Director Elena Mendez, highlighted how EXIM partners with private-sector commercial lenders and insurance brokers nationwide to deliver financial products and services that can help U.S. companies of all sizes successfully compete around the world.

“EXIM’s mission is to work with more small businesses, like the inspiring Florida businesses that I met with today, to support American jobs by facilitating exports,” said Chairman Reed. “We explored the unique tools that EXIM offers to help minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses of all sizes grow and compete when exporting their ’Made in the U.S.A.’ products to international markets.”

The event was hosted by two members of EXIM’s Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP) – the Florida Export Finance Corporation (FEFC) and the Miami Minority Business Development Agency Export Center (MBDA) – along with Miami International Airport’s Protocol and International Affairs Division. Andrea Morales from the office of U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL 25th District) also participated.

“EXIM plays an instrumental role in the daily export activities of Florida small and medium-sized businesses, providing them with growth opportunities not available in the private sector,” said FEFC Executive Vice President Daisy Ramos-Winfield, who introduced Chairman Reed. “The impact of EXIM has shifted the way Florida exporters are conducting business abroad. We at FEFC have witnessed the changes and improvements in our 27 years of partnering with EXIM, and we will continue to support EXIM and share its passion for small business development.”

“The historic reauthorization of EXIM is welcome news for exporters across the region,” said Executive Director Marie R. Gill of the MBDA Export Center. “As the export gateway to the Americas and the Caribbean, Florida’s export potential is massive. We are pleased to work with Chairman Reed, and we are eager to learn of new opportunities for financing and growing minority and women business exporters in our state.”

REPP is a cooperative arrangement between EXIM, cities, counties, states, and local nonprofit economic development entities. With 57 members in 35 states and two U.S territories, it has yielded more than $25 million in new authorizations though direct referrals, connecting small business exporters to the global economy.

Several companies attending the roundtable explained how they plan to use EXIM financial products to help their small businesses export their goods and services:

  • Ergoactives, Miami: “EXIM programs are essential for the growth of my medical equipment business,” said Founder and President Bernardo Birnbaum. “Without them, it will be impossible to access international markets.”
  • E-Tech Simulation Corp, West Palm Beach, Florida: “E-Tech Simulation Corp. is a small business focused on developing and manufacturing simulators in a variety of industries,” said Global Sales and Product Coordinator Andrey Piroozgar. “We are looking to utilize the services of EXIM in order to facilitate our expansion and grow our business internationally. Without EXIM, it would be a lot more difficult.”
  • Southeastern Aerospace Services, Pompano Beach, Florida: “EXIM’s resources mean access to working capital, credit insurance, and the ability to offer credit terms to our airline clients in developing economies,” said Co-owner and FAA Accountability Manager Julian Tucker. “We aim to become a premier aviation employer in south Florida with EXIM's help and to contribute to the promotion of U.S. aviation services and products abroad.”
  • TelOnline, Sunrise, Florida: “EXIM is the key for our business to compete and grow in the international market,” said CEO Juan Carlos Castaneda.
  • Tic Aerospace Inc., Miami: “Our experience with EXIM has been so helpful for our business,” said President Silvia Gutierrez. “We appreciate this wonderful institution that has taken the worry out of exporting and given us the competitive edge to win more clients. EXIM offers wonderful support, extends credit options, and protects us against buyer nonpayment. Since day one, EXIM has given us peace of mind so we could focus on our business. I would like to thank Ms. Kimberly Reed, chairman and president of EXIM, for always supporting small businesses in the United States.”

Chairman Reed Outlines EXIM’s Congressional Directive to Compete with China in Two Speeches to the Florida Banking and Business Communities

In her keynote address Thursday to nearly 100 Florida Bankers Association Leadership Forum participants, Chairman Reed highlighted how EXIM partners, but does not compete, with private-sector commercial lenders and insurance brokers nationwide to empower U.S. businesses to increase their exports. She was introduced by International Finance Bank President and CEO Jose E. Cueto.

“Economic security is national security, and EXIM will not sit idly by while China uses unfair trade practices at the expense of American workers,” Chairman Reed said. “EXIM’s reauthorization gave us clear direction to focus on the economic and national security challenges from China, and I remain committed to fulfilling that directive. Our nation’s financial institutions and leaders, including the Florida bankers who joined me today, are key to ensuring America’s businesses are able to compete and win around the world.”

“Our country needs to be involved and engaged on China policy and the trade deficit that exists between our countries,” said Florida Bankers Association President and CEO Alex Sanchez, a member of the EXIM Advisory Committee. “With the leadership of President Trump, Chairman Reed and others, that is finally being addressed.”

Earlier in the day, Chairman Reed spoke during a roundtable event sponsored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. She was introduced by Chair of the Banking and Financial Services Committee Gladys Reed. More than 30 Miami business leaders and representatives from foreign countries that import goods and services from the United States, including from Latin America and Eastern Europe, were in attendance.

“Over the past five years, EXIM supported $5 billion in Florida exports through 525 Florida exporters, including 442 Florida small business exporters,” said Chairman Reed. “Looking at Florida’s future, I heard loud and clear from Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce members that the Florida economy is thriving. As EXIM fully reopens after our historic reauthorization last month, we want both Florida businesses and the foreign marketplace to know that EXIM tools like export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, and term financing can help support even more Florida exports and jobs.”

Chairman Visits Ben Kaufman Sales: An EXIM Small Business Success Story

On Thursday, Chairman Reed also visited the Medley, Florida, headquarters of Ben Kaufman Sales Co., which exports printed towels and apparel created from U.S.-grown cotton. She was joined by EXIM Regional Director Jennifer Simpson.

This small business has used EXIM export credit insurance since 2012, and during that time, its workforce has more than quadrupled from 12 to 50 employees. Since 2014, EXIM has supported exports valued at more than $1.8 million. Exports account for approximately 25 percent of the company’s business, and it ships products throughout the Caribbean with plans to expand into Central America.

“Since 2012, we grew from one embroidery machine to 24 embroidery machines,” said CEO Ben Kaufman. “EXIM has given us the ability to sell to Marriott, Hilton, cruise lines, and local storefronts in the Caribbean.”

Chairman Reed added, “Ben Kaufman Sales Co. is an EXIM Florida small business exporter success story. As the company, which has wonderful employees, explores expanding its export footprint to new countries in 2020 and beyond, EXIM stands ready to help.”


EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. goods and services. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.

For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.