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Ex-Im Authorizes $900,000 in Export Insurance to Back Texas Small Business's Aircraft Sale in Brazil; Supports 135 Jobs in Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 18, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Steve Horning (202-565-3200)

Washington, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized credit insurance to support the export by Air Tractor Inc. of nearly $900,000 worth of American-made crop-spraying aircraft to a biofuel and soybean grower in Brazil.

This Bank-supported export sale is the twentieth of approximately forty similar deals expected to benefit Air Tractor this year. The total body of export sales will support 135 American jobs in Olney, Texas, both in production and in sales management.

We're glad to see Air Tractor -a small business in Texas- winning this sale to Brazil, which is one of our nine key markets, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. This export transaction continues the long relationship we have had with Air Tractor that helped them dramatically grow their foreign sales while supporting American jobs.

Ex-Im Bank recently authorized credit insurance to enable Texan small business Air Tractor Inc. to export this AT-502B aircraft to a soybean grower in Brazil.

Air Tractor employs 270 people to build its aircraft and custom equipment. Since 1972, the Air Tractor line has sold about 2,800 aircraft to buyers on six continents. Over the past 17 years, Air Tractor has utilized Ex-Im Bank's medium-term insurance to export an estimated $70 million worth of its aircraft, primarily to small private-sector buyers in Argentina and Brazil. In 2009 and 2011, Air Tractor also obtained Bank-guaranteed working capital loans.

The export finance products of Ex-Im Bank have been invaluable to Air Tractor in supporting our growth in the international market over the last 15 years, said David Ickert, chief financial officer for Air Tractor. We continue to look to Ex-Im Bank for support as we expand our export sales in the future. The Bank's products and hard-working employees are key to our export growth and job creation.

The financing will support the export of Air Tractor's model AT-502B, a single-engine turbo prop aircraft outfitted with a 500-gallon hopper that can be utilized both to extinguish fires and to spray crops. The aircraft is specifically adapted to operational conditions in Brazil's State of Mato Grosso.

Taua Biodiesel Ltda, headquartered in Nova Mutum, Brazil, purchased the medium-sized Air Tractor equipment for its agricultural operations. The Taua group produces biodiesel fuel, vegetable oil, and soybean meal on 40,000 acres now under cultivation. Taua plans to increase its operation to 100,000 hectares by 2015.

Ex-Im Bank concentrates market development efforts in Brazil because of that country's massive and growing consumer population, which welcomes goods stamped Made in USA. The Bank's exposure in Brazil as of the end of fiscal year 2011 amounted to $2.7 billion.

About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.