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EX-IM BANK, MARAD SIGN AGREEMENT TO FACILITATE SHIPPING, GUARANTEE WORKING CAPITAL FOR EXPORT SERVICE PROVIDERS

Agreement To Benefit U.S. Exporters and U.S. Fleet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

Washington, D.C.- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the U.S. Department of Transportation today signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a program to provide Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital loans for shipping, logistics and other companies involved in ocean freight transportation. The agreement also updates certain shipping requirements for Ex-Im Bank transactions.

Under the agreement, Ex-Im Bank can provide working capital loans to export service providers, enabling them to extend credit terms to their export clients. The Bank will also increase its working capital guarantee from 90 percent to 95 percent for U.S. companies that ship on U.S. flag vessels. Ex-Im Bank and MARAD also agreed to raise the minimum threshold for Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed U.S. export transactions that must utilize U.S. flag vessels from $10 million to $20 million.

This agreement helps U.S. exporters, the U.S. commercial shipping industry, and their workers, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill said. Ex-Im Bank and MARAD have had a longstanding partnership to support U.S. exports and U.S. shipping. This agreement provides greater flexibility for U.S. exporters seeking Ex-Im Bank financing and also enables Ex-Im Bank to offer expanded working capital support for export service providers and U.S. exporters that ship on U.S.-flag vessels.

This agreement is a win for American labor and business, a win for freight forwarders, and a win for U.S.-flag carriers. By providing credit terms and more access to working capital for small and medium U.S. exporters and their logistics service providers that ship on U.S.-flag vessels, we will make them more competitive and create more U.S. jobs, said Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert.

This year, Ex-Im Bank marks its 70st year of helping 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, it authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.