FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 17, 2003
Marianna Ohe or Phil Cogan (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Philip Merrill today hailed the agreement by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on common approaches for evaluating environmental impacts of projects financed by export credit agencies (ECAs).
The U.S. government and all of its counterpart members of the OECD adopted the OECD Export Credit Agency Environmental Agreement at an OECD Council meeting in Paris today.
We are very pleased with this agreement, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. On two of the most important issues- standards and transparency- major progress was made. This is a victory for cooperation among OECD nations. It is a victory for the environment. And it is a victory for U.S. exporters who now will face a more level playing field in the international market place.
The adoption of the agreement marks a milestone in ECA cooperation on environmental standards. Ex-Im Bank was first among ECAs when, in 1995, it adopted environmental guidelines for foreign projects that it finances.
Under the agreement, OECD export credit agency projects now should comply with the more stringent of host country standards or the World Bank, regional development bank, or any higher internationally recognized environmental standards.
In addition to making the ECA environmental review process more transparent and identifying minimum international standards, the agreement strengthens internal reporting requirements among ECAs on environmental matters.
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.