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EX-IM BANK PILOT PROGRAM SPEEDS MEDIUM-TERM CREDIT TO FOREIGN BUYERS OF U.S. GOODS AND SERVICES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 24, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Medium-Term EXpress Credit program is helping U.S. companies increase overseas sales by providing speedy approval on credits of up to $1 million for foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services. Ex-Im Bank's goal under the pilot program, which runs until May 2001, is to issue final commitments for medium-term guarantees and insurance within two business days after receiving complete applications from lenders or exporters.

The program offers faster service in exchange for lenders' increased participation in transactions, including credit evaluation, policy compliance, and risk sharing.

Eligible lenders must: 1) have completed three medium- or long-term commitments under Ex-Im Bank's Insurance and/or Guarantee programs in the past two years, and 2) have an operative Master Guarantee Agreement with Ex-Im Bank (for participation in the Guarantee program only).

For U.S. exporters struggling to win business overseas, Medium-Term EXpress offers reliable, quick access to financing for their foreign customers, said Brett N. Silvers, chairman and CEO of First International Bank, Hartford, CT, a member of the program. It's a tangible, competitive boost from Ex-Im Bank at a time when our economy most needs it.

Ex-Im Bank is always looking for new ways to reach out to small and medium-sized companies that otherwise would not be able to compete in the global marketplace, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. This program will help meet their export financing needs.

Commitments by lenders under the program cannot exceed $1 million per transaction. Lenders must retain 5% of commercial and political risks and may not lay off or separately collateralize the retention. Ex-Im Bank's Medium-Term Express credit standards must be met on each transaction.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports to developing markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on the Medium-Term Express Program, contact Wayne L. Gardella at 202-565-3787, or wayne.gardella@exim.gov.