AEM export-import bank pilot program paying dividends, manufacturer participant says

A pilot program developed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and launched with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) a few months ago is already paying huge dividends for at least one manufacturer.

The program is designed to boost exports from AEM’s small- and medium-sized member companies.  As an example for others to follow, AEM member McElroy Manufacturing Inc. leads the way as the first AEM member to obtain Short-Term Single-Buyer Export Credit Insurance while participating in the pilot program.

“This program is designed to guide small- and medium-sized companies – which includes more than 90 percent of AEM members — through the loan application process and maximizes their export opportunities.  We will keep telling AEM member companies how they can take advantage of this program, especially during this global recession in our industries,” said AEM President Dennis Slater.

Dave Hughes, Director of Business Operations for McElroy, said, “The AEM pilot program with Ex-Im Bank highlights how the bank can really assist U.S. companies with their export business.” Hughes explained that the administration’s National Export Initiative, with the goal to double exports in five years, has  helped increase financing available to small- to medium-size businesses from $4 billion to $6 billion in the next year.

“The 2011 budget also allocates additional money to help Ex-Im Bank administer its expanded efforts on behalf of companies such as McElroy Manufacturing,” Hughes said.  “We encourage other companies as well to investigate how the bank can help them with their export efforts.” 

The AEM-Ex-Im Bank pilot program was launched by AEM President Dennis Slater, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg and AEM 2010 Chairman Chuck Martz, President & CEO of Link-Belt Construction Equipment, during a special ceremony in Washington, DC.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg discussed export opportunities at the April 2010 meeting of the AEM Board of Directors in Washington, DC.  Chairman Hochberg acknowledged the need to improve the speed of the Ex-Im Bank application process to allow American manufacturers to compete on a level playing field with international competitors who have a much faster public financing process. 

“It was good for Chairman Hochberg to hear from AEM members companies selling products all around the world and how those sales are critical components to these companies’ success.  We felt the Ex-Im Bank leadership now really understood our concerns for timeliness,” Slater said.

Ten AEM member-companies are now participating in the pilot program.  

AEM id urging companies to start participating in this opportunity by contacting Nick Yaksich at AEM-Washington, D.C. (at or 202-898 9064.