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WASHINGTON-The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and NCUA joined together to sign a memorandum of cooperation to boost financing support for U.S. small business exporters. NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson met acting Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright at the Ex-Im Bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters for the signing ceremony Sept. 23. Under the agreement, Ex-Im Bank and NCUA will exchange information and coordinate activities to increase awareness among credit unions and their small business members of Ex-Im Bank financing products. NCUA will identify credit unions and members best suited for Ex-Im Bank financing. “Supporting growth of U.S. small business exports is one of Ex-Im Bank’s highest priorities,” Lambright said at the signing ceremony. “This agreement will enable us to reach out to more small businesses than we’ve ever had the ability to reach before. There are about 9,000 federally chartered credit unions with 84 million members nationwide. A substantial portion of those members are small business owners.” “The loan program guarantees available through the Ex-Im Bank are a great resource for the nation’s credit unions to assist their members’ small businesses, by facilitating additional access to capital and credit to expand and grow their small businesses,” Johnson said. Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, has helped finance the sale of U.S. exports for 71 years, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. It does not compete with private sector lenders but works to fill voids in trade financing and assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank supported $17.8 billion of U.S. exports to markets worldwide. The direct benefit to America’s small businesses averages about 85% of Ex-Im Bank transactions. For more information, see www.exim.gov.

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