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President Bush’s fiscal year 2006 federal budget request, released recently, fully supports US Ex-Im Bank. The FY2006 request provides US$186.5mn to fund the bank’s programme budget and US$73.2mn to fund its administrative budget.

“This budget request will enable Ex-Im Bank to continue to help US exporters, small and large, compete in the toughest global markets,” Ex-Im Bank chairman Philip Merrill says. “This is a triple win for America – for US businesses to make overseas sales, for US workers whose jobs are sustained by export production, and for US taxpayers whose investment is repaid in increased US prosperity.”

When Ex-Im Bank was overwhelmingly reauthorised by Congress in 2002, President Bush said: “The Export-Import Bank helps advance US trade policy, facilitate the sale of US goods and services abroad, and create jobs here at home.”

Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, helps finance US exports by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im assisted in financing US$17.8bn of US exports to markets around the world.