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Ex-Im Bank OECD Environmental Policy Approved

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 17, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Ken Murphy (202) 565-3200

Washington, D.C.: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Export Credit Group agreed Friday in Paris to a policy which encourages the world`s export credit agencies (ECAs) to voluntarily share environmental information on a case-by-case basis for large, multi-source projects. The proposal was presented by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and is similar to a policy agreement endorsed April 9, 1999 by the G-7 ECAs during a meeting in Tokyo.

Hopefully, this is a beginning for the OECD`s Export Credit Group that will eventually result in stronger overall environmental standards for projects financed by the world`s export credit agencies, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said.

The OCED`s Agreement on Environmental Information Exchange for Larger Projects builds upon recent experience by some ECAs that participated in an environmental informational exchange for large infrastructure projects. These ECAs crossed a major policy threshold by volunteering to share their views on environmental impact assessment.

Harmon is a leading proponent of stronger world environmental standards for all ECAs. In 1992, the U.S. Congress mandated that Ex-Im Bank develop environmental guidelines and consider environmental impact when deciding to finance projects. Since then, Ex-Im Bank has worked with industry and other outside groups to create realistic guidelines, and established incentives to improve the competitive position of U.S. firms that export environmentally beneficial products and technologies.