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Ex-Im Bank Asked to Provide Critical Export Financing for U.S. Products, Chairman James Harmon Outlines Important Export Financing & Environmental Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 1, 1998

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

David W. Carter (202) 565-3200

Washington, D.C.: James A. Harmon, chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, in remarks before the 7th Annual World Economic Development Congress in Washington, D.C. today, said Ex-Im Bank will work to expand its role in keeping vital trade flows open between U.S. exporters and developing economies while promoting environmental leadership.

We in the industrialized world have a moral obligation to help the rest of the world develop without wreaking the same havoc on the environment as we did...It has been demonstrated convincingly that environmentally-sound infrastructure development is cost-effective in the long term..., Harmon said.

Harmon`s comments follow a statement delivered today at the White House in which President Clinton called on Ex-Im Bank to ...establish new short-term credit facilities to make it easier for American businesses to continue exporting to critical Latin American markets.

Under Harmon`s leadership, Ex-Im Bank is already playing a critical role in providing an estimated $5 billion in financing for U.S. exports to Asia. In February, Harmon coordinated a cooperative agreement among 18 export credit agencies (ECAs) to expand short-term insurance guarantees and reinsurance to creditworthy buyers in Asia following the G-7 ECA meeting in London.

In response to this agreement, Ex-Im Bank developed and has implemented programs to provide immediate short-term trade financing for Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia. To date, the Korean program has been augmented twice, for a total of $1 billion of short-term credit support, and $2 billion for medium-term financing for the export of capital goods and services. The Korean program is now fully operational. In Thailand and Indonesia, Ex-Im Bank has negotiated the terms of short-term export credit programs of $1 billion for each country.

Similar short-term export credit facilities will be pursued in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Ex-Im Bank provides export financing in the form of loans, guarantees and insurance to U.S. exporters and creditworthy foreign purchasers of U.S. goods. In the last five years, Ex-Im Bank has supported nearly $65 billion in U.S. exports.

Prepared remarks by Chairman Harmon at the 7th Annual World Economic Development Congress, Washington, D.C.