FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 3, 1998
Linda Formella 202-565-3200
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved a $67.5 million long-term guarantee to support $76 million of export sales of agricultural machinery and management and training services from four states to the Romanian Agricultural Project, an initiative of the Romanian government to modernize privately-owned farms and boost agricultural production in Romania. Primary exporters are Case Corporation of Racine, Wisconsin, and Valmont Industries, Inc., of Valley, Nebraska.
Ex-Im Bank also has authorized a $67.5 million guarantee to support U.S. exports to a similar Romanian agricultural project. Both projects will assist individual farmers who otherwise would not be able to obtain financing to replace and upgrade aging equipment.
These sales represent the best of what Ex-Im Bank does, supporting American jobs in communities across the country while at the same time helping a developing nation in its initial efforts to secure financing for a vital sector of its economy, Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman James A. Harmon said. Ex-Im Bank is proud to assist in financing these U.S. exports that will not only help Romania but also will help sustain employment in the agricultural manufacturing industry here at home.
For the Romanian Agricultural Project, Case Corporation and Valmont Industries, Inc., will supply combines, tractors, agricultural implements, irrigation equipment, and assist in operating and maintenance training. Additional suppliers include:
Consolidated Diesel Company, Whitakers, North Carolina; Dana Corporation, Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and Goodyear Company, Charlotte, North Carolina.
The emerging agricultural equipment market in countries such as Romania offers significant opportunities for Case, said Steve Lamb, Case Corporation president and chief operating officer. With Ex-Im Bank financing, these countries are acquiring technologically advanced equipment that greatly improves their food production capability. In turn, these sales have created additional production and increased employment at Case`s plants in Racine, Wisconsin, and East Moline, Illinois.
Valmont is providing long-term support and technical expertise to these projects, said E. Robert Meaney, president and chief operating officer of Valmont`s International Division. Romania`s agricultural sector is critically short of capital and efficient agricultural equipment. This loan backed by Ex-Im Bank will address these vital needs and build the foundation for modernization and privatization of Romania`s farms.
The buyer in both projects is Regia Autonoma A. Imbunatatirilor Funciaro (RAIF), a state-owned entity under the authority of Romania`s Ministry of Agriculture and Food that will sell or lease agricultural packages of equipment and services to private land owners and private agricultural associations. Approximately 200,000 hectares (approximately 500,000 acres) of farmland are eligible, and a portion of crop sales will be used for loan repayment.
The Government of Romania will provide a repayment guarantee through the Ministry of Finance. The guaranteed lender in both transactions is Citicorp International PLC, London, England. The repayment terms are 10 semiannual installments, beginning March 25, 1999.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance and promote the sales of U.S. goods and services around the world.