|The Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is an
independent US government agency that helps finance the overseas
sales of US goods and services.
What is Ex-Im Bank's mission?
Ex-Im Bank's mission is to create jobs through exports. It guarantees both
working capital loans for US exporters and the repayment of loans by
foreign purchasers of US goods and services. Ex-Im also provides credit
insurance that protects US exporters against the risks of non-payment by
foreign buyers for political or commercial reasons. The Bank does not
compete with commercial lenders, but assumes the risks they cannot
accept. It always must have a reasonable assurance of repayment.
When Can Ex-Im Bank help?
Ex-Im Bank helps to provide a level playing field for US exporters by
countering the export credit subsidies of other foreign governments. It
also provides financing to creditworthy foreign buyers when private
financing is unavailable. To qualify for Ex-Im Bank support, the product or
service must have at least 50 percent US content and must not affect the
US economy adversely.
Ex-Im Bank supports the sales of US exports worldwide. In recent years,
its focus shifted to the developing nations whose economies are growing
at twice the rate of the industrial nations.
Ex-Im Bank will finance the export of any type of goods or services,
including commodities, as long as they are not military-related. Two of its
major goals are to increase the export of environmental goods and
services, which are in strong demand among the developing nations, and
to expand the number of small businesses using Ex-Im programs.
While Ex-Im Bank is not a foreign aid or development agency, its
programs often help US exporters participate in development projects.
Ex-Im Bank has co-financed projects with the US Agency for
International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and various regional
What programs does Ex-Im Bank offer?
1. Working Capital Guarantee Program is a pre-export financial tool to
enable exporters to obtain necessary working capital in order to bid,
construct or enhance production and complete foreign contract awards.
2. Export Credit Insurance policies protect against both the political and
commercial risks of a foreign buyer defaulting on payment. Policies may
be obtained for single or repeat export sales and for leases. They
generally cover 100 percent of the principal for political risks and 90-95
percent for commercial risks, as well as a specified amount of interest.
Short-term policies are used to support the sale of consumer goods, raw
materials and spare parts on terms up to 180 days, and agricultural
commodities, consumer durables and capital goods on terms of up
to 360 days.
Capital goods may be insured for up to five years, depending upon the
contract value, under medium-term policies. Ex-Im Bank's credit
insurance allows exporters to finance receivables more easily by
assigning the proceeds of the policy to their lender as collateral.
3. Guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers of US goods or
services cover 100 percent of principal and interest against both political
and commercial risks of non-payment. Medium-term guarantees cover
the sale of capital items such as, trucks and construction equipment,
scientific apparatus, food processing machinery, medical equipment, or
project-related services, including architectural, industrial design, and
engineering services. Long-term Guarantees are available for major
projects, large capital goods and/or project-related services. Ex-Im Bank's
Credit Guarantee Facilities also can be used to extend medium-term
credit to buyers of US capital goods and services through banks in
certain foreign markets.
4. Loans, extended directly or through an intermediary, provide foreign
buyers with competitive, fixed-rate financing for their purchases from the
Ex-Im Bank's loans and guarantees cover 85 percent of the contract price
(100 percent of the financed portion). The foreign buyer is required to
make 15 percent cash down payment. The fees charged by Ex-
Im Bank for its programs are based on the risk assessment of the foreign
buyer or guarantor, the buyer's country, and term of the credit. Ex-Im
Bank's fees are competitive with those charged by the export credit
agencies of other exporting countries.
When there is no foreign competitor, exports can obtain an Ex-Im Bank
Letter of Interest (LI) to assist in negotiations with a potential foreign
buyer. The LI indicates the Bank's willingness to consider a financing
offer if sale is completed. An LI can be issued within seven (7) days of a
request for financing and remains in effect for six (6) months.
Where to apply for Ex-Im Bank programs
Ex-Im Bank's programs are easily accessible. For more information,
please contact the Ex-Im Bank at:
Export-Import Bank of the United States
811 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20571
Phone: 202-565-3946 or,
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nearest regional office in your area.