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Public Statements

Letter to Fred P. Hochberg, President and Chairman of the Board, Export Import Bank of the United States

Lincoln Calls for Increased Credit Access for American Manufacturers

U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today called for more accessible credit to help small and medium-sized manufacturers compete in the global marketplace. Lincoln sent a letter this week urging the Export Import Bank to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers receive easier access to export credits.

"During these trying times, it is crucial that small and medium-sized manufacturers have access to adequate financing and credit so that they can pursue export opportunities," said Lincoln. "This will particularly help our struggling domestic textile industry which exports mostly unfinished goods and thus relies on such credit to finance their overseas transactions. The government banks and agencies that are tasked to help our exporters compete in the international market must step up their support now more than ever, especially when the Chinese and Indian governments stand behind their producers with increasing assistance."

"As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I will continue to fight for American small and medium-sized manufacturers who are increasing the quality of their products and the efficiency of their production, to ensure they receive the readily available credit that is required to compete in the international marketplace," said Lincoln.

Lincoln sent a letter to the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank, which is the official export credit agency of the U.S. Government.
The full text of Lincoln's letter is included below:

February 2, 2010
Fred P. Hochberg
President and Chairman of the Board
Export Import Bank of the United States
811 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20571

Dear Chairman Hochberg:

We are writing to urge you to utilize all authorities and resources of the Export-Import Bank to meet the credit and financing needs of U.S. exporters, particularly small and medium-sized manufacturers. As you know, the poor condition of the economy has made ordinary commercial credit difficult to obtain in order to continue operations and preserve jobs for many companies.

We are particularly concerned about domestic manufacturers that maintain export operations, which have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn. For example, the domestic textile industry has lost more than 11 percent of its employees since December 2008.

The contraction in the domestic export sector has been caused in part by an inadequate supply of financing and credit for export opportunities. Too many domestic exporters and manufacturers are suffering shortfalls of credit, credit guarantees, and working capital.

We believe the Export-Import Bank can play an integral role in ensuring that all industries have access to adequate financing and credit guarantees. Doing so will facilitate export business. We request that you provide us with information on the role the Export-Import Bank is playing in aiding U.S. industry in its export business and whether the bank needs additional authority to develop effective programs to assist the industry during the economic downturn.

We are concerned due to several reports from domestic manufacturers which indicate that the Export-Import Bank does not offer affordable, effective financing and credit guarantee options to the industry. It is important that the efforts we undertake in the U.S. Congress complement the offerings of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Thank you for your attention to the goal of ensuring that American businesses can access the financing they need to continue to export American products.

Respectfully,

Senator John Kerry
Senator Kay Hagen
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Saxby Chambliss
Senator Thad Cochran
Senator Blanche Lincoln
Senator Johnny Isakson
Senator Mark Pryor
Senator David Vitter


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