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U.S. Small Businesses Grow and Create Jobs by Selling to Mexico Using Ex-Im Bank Financing

Mexican Finance Minister to Address Ex-Im Bank Annual Conference April 7, 2006


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3206

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When Mexican Finance Minister Francisco Gil-Diaz takes the podium to speak at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Annual Conference to be held April 6-7, 2006, he will be representing a country that is increasingly becoming a major source of sales for U.S. small businesses.

Small firms in places as diverse as Kansas City, Mo. and Novato and Riverside, Calif., are breaking into the Mexican market or expanding sales there -- and creating new U.S. jobs in the process -- with the support of Ex-Im Bank financing.

Ex-Im Bank authorized $1.7 billion in financing in fiscal year 2005 to support U.S. exports to Mexico, the Bank's largest market.

Western Forms, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., a manufacturer of aluminum forming systems for concrete housing construction and a successful user of Ex-Im Bank insurance for 12 years, saw an increase in usage of Ex-Im Bank programs by more than 400% for exports to Mexico in the past year. Insurance broker Trade Acceptance Group of Edina, Minn., supports Western Forms' use of Ex-Im Bank services.

International business has definitely helped us maintain employment in Kansas City - it represents about 10 percent of our sales, said Western Forms Chief Financial Officer Daniel Ward. Our international sales have increased since we started using Ex-Im Bank and dedicated fulltime resources to global markets. We plan to further expand our international sales with continued support of Ex-Im Bank.

Small businesses are where the greatest potential for U.S. export growth lies, said John Emens, Ex-Im Bank senior vice president, Small Business. That's why financing exports from this sector is a critical Ex-Im Bank priority.

But we want more small companies to know how to access Ex-Im Bank financing products in order to successfully compete in global markets. That's why our five regional offices are entirely dedicated to helping small business exporters, Emens said.

In addition to credit insurance that protects U.S. exporters' receivables against nonpayment, Ex-Im Bank offers loan guarantees to foreign buyers to provide them with competitive credit, and working capital loan guarantees to U.S. companies for pre-export financing.

For example, MB Graphic Machinery, Novato, Calif., a small distributor and servicer of printing and finishing equipment, successfully sold a custom printing and decorating machine to Cacao y Cafes del Sur, S.A. de C.V., in Mexico. MB Graphic Machinery was backed by an Ex-Im Bank guarantee of a medium-term loan to the Mexican buyer from UPS Capital Business Credit. The manufacturer of the equipment was Telstar Engineering, a small business in Burnsville, Minn.

Every major machine we sell normally creates three jobs at MB Graphic Machinery and our U.S. manufacturer, and provides a new avenue to increase revenue for our clients, said MB Graphic Machinery President Michael Bittner. Ex-Im Bank secures our transactions, and these are catalysts to further transactions.

Cacao y Cafes based in Saltillo, Coahuila, originally a distributor of cacao and coffee products, specializes in manufacturing promotional candies for hotels, restaurants, airlines and other industries. The company will use the Telstar machine to print on paperboards and candy wrappers to increase capacity and enhance productivity.

Agri-Pacific, Inc., a small business in Riverside, Calif.,uses an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed revolving working capital loan from Guarantee Bank of California in Monterey Park, Calif., to facilitate its export of turf maintenance products for golf courses to Mexico and other markets. The financing enables Agri-Pacific to build inventory and finance receivables for its export business.

On behalf of small businesses, Ex-Im Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Master Guarantee Agreement with Nacional Financiera SNC (NAFIN), Mexico's small business bank. This agreement makes NAFIN an Ex-Im Bank guaranteed lender, which permits Ex-Im Bank to guarantee up to 85 percent of loans made by NAFIN to Mexican companies for purchases of U.S. goods and services.

Of Ex-Im Bank's medium-term portfolio -- transactions under $10 million or under 7 years in total term -- over 50% of the $1.2 billion supports transactions with Mexico.

Small businesses interested in receiving help with financing foreign transactions may visit Ex-Im Bank's web site at www.exim.gov or call 1-800-565-EXIM (3946) and select option 2 to be connected to the nearest regional office.

Minister Gil-Diaz previously was chief executive officer of Avantel, a Mexican telecommunications company, and before that vice governor of the Central Bank of Mexico. He also has served as under-secretary for revenue in the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit, and professor emeritus at the Mexican Autonomous Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports.