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EXPORT-IMPORT BANK CHAIRMAN JAMES HARMON TO ADDRESS LOCAL CHICAGO BUSINESS LEADERS AT MID-AMERICA CLUB

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Niki Shepperd (202) 565-3200

Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman James A. Harmon will urge Chicago business leaders to increase their exports to emerging markets using Ex-Im Bank financing in a luncheon speech to the Mid-America Committee Tuesday, April 25, at the Mid-America Club, Chicago, IL.

Ex-Im Bank wants to assist middle American firms large and small to tap into the opportunities for US businesses around the world, Harmon said. He will bring this message to more than 100 chief executive officers of Midwestern multinational corporations belonging to the not-for-profit Mid-America Committee.

Harmon also will attend a breakfast meeting with Chicago minority business leaders Tuesday morning hosted by Loop Capital Markets to discuss ways Ex-Im Bank can further support small and medium-sized businesses in the Middle West and raise awareness about exporting opportunities among women-owned and minority-owned companies.

In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped 293 Illinois companies in 120 communities export $3 billion in goods and services, sustaining more than 42,000 jobs. More than half of the transactions assisted small businesses. Chicago alone accounted for 51 of the companies.

For example, Tie & Track Systems, Inc. (TTS), Lemont, IL, a manufacturer of steel ties used by the railroad industry, won a $1.25 million contract in the United Kingdom but needed working capital to fill the order. Through Ex-Im Bank's Midwest Regional Office, Tie & Track received an Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantee. Tie & Track hired two new employees and broke into a market previously dominated by a local British supplier as a result of the Ex-Im Bank financing.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that assists in financing the export of US goods and services to developing markets around the world, through export credit insurance, working capital loan guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In FY 1999, Ex-Im Bank financed nearly $17 billion in US produced exports.