FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2003
Marianna Ohe (202)565-3200
The Port Authority of Jamaica, Kingston, will use the x-ray and gamma ray imagery machines at its two terminal facilities, the Kingston Container Terminal and Port Bustamente, to inspect trucks, containers, cargo and passenger vehicles for explosive devices and contraband.
The sale is being supported under Ex-Im Bank's new Transportation Security Export Program, which provides enhanced financing for U.S. exports of products and services that improve the security of international transportation systems. Jamaica is buying the equipment not only to meet port and transshipment competition in the Caribbean, but also to meet new U.S. security requirements of its trading partners.
We are delighted to support the export by these two companies of state-of-the-art equipment and technology to enable Jamaica to upgrade the security of its cross-border transportation systems, while supporting U.S. exports and jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill.
Wachovia Bank, National Association, Charlotte, N.C., is the guaranteed lender on the transaction. National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, Kingston, Jamaica, is the lead arranger on the guaranteed loan.
SAIC will provide five Mobile and five Pallet Vehicle and Cargo Inspection Systems (VACIS) Cobalt-60 gamma systems. ARACOR, a 40-employee company, will supply one Eagle XIS x-ray system.
The Ex-Im Bank Transportation Security Program is available to support U.S. exports of machinery, equipment, goods, and services for a wide range of security-related functions, including: 1) screening and identification of cargo, baggage and passengers; 2) data collection and analysis; and 3) communications.
The financing enhancements under the program are: 1) the maximum allowable repayment terms under the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and 2) support for local costs in the host country of up to 15 percent of the U.S. net contract value.
The U.S. Container Security Initiative which gives preferential treatment to cargo containers that are secured through inspections, coupled with the substantial financial losses associated with duty fraud, has resulted in a major demand for our Eagle cargo inspection system, said ARACOR's CEO, Dr. R.A. Armistead. The new Ex-Im Bank Transportation Security Export Program enables some countries to purchase cargo inspection systems that would otherwise have difficulty in arranging financing.
The program is available in every country where the Bank is currently open to provide export financing. Ex-Im Bank's initiative complements a number of other U.S. government programs, such as the Secured Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) initiative to increase international security cooperation among the nations of the Asian Pacific region and the Smart Border programs with Mexico and Canada.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im authorized financing to support approximately $14.2 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.