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Ex-Im Bank Supports Export of U.S. Aircraft for Food Security in Brazil



Monday, September 30, 2013

(Ex-Im Bank)  WASHINGTON, D.C. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced support for a seven-figure purchase of two new American agricultural aircraft by Jose Antonio Goncalves Viana, a soybean and corn agribusiness in Brazil. The buyer is a repeat customer of Air Tractor Inc., an employee-owned small business manufacturer of specialty aircraft.For this transaction, Ex-Im provided a medium-term insurance policy that was designed to mitigate risk in export of capital goods.

"We're pleased to support this sale to Brazil's food industry, where innovative U.S. products are being put to use," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "But the Bank's long-standing relationship with Air Tractor owes to its competitive products and success in keeping global customers. This transaction will help support jobs in Texas while increasing food production in Brazil."

Air Tractor Inc. is headquartered in Olney, Texas, and employs 275 U.S. workers to build its aircraft and customized equipment such as sprayers. Since 1972, the Air Tractor product lines of agricultural and fire-fighting aircraft have been exported to six continents; for the past 18 years, the company has relied on Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees and insurance for worry-free exporting. In August, Air Tractor presented a previous Brazilian buyer with a bright yellow single-seat model AT-502B, the three thousandth aircraft to roll off the Texas production line.

Air Tractor's chief financial officer David Ickert pointed out mutual benefits garnered by buyer and seller: "With the purchase of two new Air Tractor AT-502Bs, JAG Viana has improved its agricultural capabilities allowing them to be more efficient and productive with the production of soybeans and corn in Brazil." Ickert continued, "In addition to helping with food security, the sale and export of these two aircraft help create and sustain jobs on Main Street in Olney, Texas. The central link in making this deal possible and gaining these achievements is the Medium Term Credit Insurance product of the Export-Import Bank of the United States."

The Bank's exposure to Brazil as of the end of fiscal year 2012 amounted to $3.3 billion.