FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2002
Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr., (R-Oklahoma), will deliver the luncheon address on the first day, Thursday, May 2, of Ex-Im Bank's 2002 Annual Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. He will speak to approximately 1,200 U.S. exporters and lenders, as well as foreign business executives and government officials. The speech will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m. and is open to the media.
In his address, Congressman Watts will discuss the importance of trade in re-energizing the U.S. economy and in helping developing nations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, to address their own economic and infrastructure needs. Watts has led two Congressional Delegation (CODEL) trips to the region.
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States and is a key player on the Bush Administration's trade, foreign and economic stimulus policy teams. The Bank's mission is to help finance the sales of U.S. goods and services throughout the world, which helps to create and sustain U.S. jobs. Ex-Im Bank supported $12.5 billion of U.S. exports in fiscal year 2001 and has assisted in financing more than $450 million of Oklahoma exports since fiscal year 1997. Nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma companies benefiting from Ex-Im Bank's financing are small businesses.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans will deliver the noon luncheon address to Ex-Im Bank's annual conference on Friday, May 3. Other speakers will be Rep. John LaFalce (D-New York) on May 2 at 9 a.m., Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Michigan) on May 2 at 10:50 a.m., and Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Washington) on May 3 at 9 a.m. In addition, Noreen Doyle, first vice president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will address the conference on May 2 at 9:40 a.m., and Polish Deputy Prime Minister Marek Belka will speak on May 3 at 9:40 a.m.
Ex-Im Bank's two-day conference, May 2-3, also offers participants from small, medium-sized and large U.S. companies an opportunity to learn how Ex-Im Bank can help them expand their foreign sales. Workshops will brief participants on Ex-Im Bank products, export financing in several world regions, financing renewable energy exports, trends in asset-based lending, and many other topics. All events are open to the media.