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Marianna Ohe 202-565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) received Trade Finance magazine's Best Export Credit Agency award for 2003, the Euromoney publication announced in its June issue. Trade Finance, a global magazine for decision makers in the trade finance and export communities, based the award for excellence on a poll of its readers and visitors to its web site who voted on line from around the world.

We are particularly honored to win the Trade Finance award this year because our highest priority remains putting our customers first, said Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman Philip Merrill. President Bush's vision of government is that it must be citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-driven. To realize that vision, we are reducing the time and cost of doing business with Ex-Im Bank, simplifying applications for the 2,000 small business exporters we support each year, and modernizing other systems to better serve customers large and small.

Trade Finance Editor Jonathan Bell said, In the Best Export Credit Agency category, U.S. Ex-Im polled exceptionally well -- which says a lot about peoples' perception of the agency and what a high regard there is in the market for the work Ex-Im does and the assistance it provides to exporters. But of course, we also had a lot of people voting for Ex-Im from the service side -- bankers, insurers, lawyers. The award is obviously well deserved.

Merrill said Ex-Im Bank also is working to expand support for U.S. knowledge- and service-based exports in markets where U.S. exports otherwise would not go forward.

As a result of all these efforts, he said, we are better able to carry out our Congressional mandate to support U.S. exports and keep U.S. companies competitive in the global marketplace, and in the process create and sustain U.S. jobs.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees and insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.