EXIM Board Votes to Authorize $327 Million Loan Guarantee in Support of 1,300 U.S. Jobs in Hard-Hit Aviation Sector

December 16, 2020

(Ex-Im Bank) Following Congressional Notification Period, EXIM Board Unanimously Approves Copa Airlines Final Commitment

WASHINGTON — The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve a final commitment to guarantee a $327 million loan from Citibank to Copa Airlines of Panama, to finance the purchase of seven Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. The transaction is estimated to support 1,300 jobs in the aviation sector, which has been hard-hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the important work small businesses across our nation are doing to support U.S. aviation industry supply chains and create and maintain U.S. jobs,” said EXIM President and Chairman of the Board Kimberly A. Reed. “Our agency is committed to upholding our Congressional mandates, while protecting the American taxpayer. As our economy continues to recover in the wake of COVID-19, EXIM is committed to helping the world—and, in this particular case, Panama—buy American.”

“In the midst of the holiday season, EXIM continues to work hard to serve the American people,” said EXIM Director and former Congressman Spencer Bachus. “Approving this transaction today will ensure that almost 1300 workers will keep their jobs, making it a very happy holiday indeed.”

“Today’s approval of this transaction is a perfect example of EXIM tools and policies effectively supporting American jobs through exports,” said EXIM Board Member Judith D. Pryor. “By providing this loan guarantee, EXIM not only supports continued employment at Boeing as they restart 737-MAX exports, but also supports the many jobs up and down the supply chain and across the country.”

On November 19, 2020, EXIM’s Board voted to provide Congress with notification of the transaction and a notice was published in the Federal Register (link is external) for public comment (link is external) on the same day.

EXIM received comments from several suppliers in support of the transaction. In their comments, Marcia Mies, President of Manufacturing Development Inc, in Cheney, Kansas, stated (link is external), “EX-IM Bank’s support of this transaction will allow Boeing and, by extension, MDI to remain competitive in the global economy while supporting the jobs of American workers who manufacture the planes and components for those airplanes.”

Bill Binder, Vice President and General Manager of Exotic Metals Forming in Kent, Washington, highlighted the importance of EXIM, stating (link is external), “The role of the Exim bank to facilitate sales for this industry is critical in getting this industry back on its feet and helping to restore the lives of so many of our citizens.”

Ali Aafedt, Director, Trade Facilitation Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, commented (link is external), “Ex-Im Bank tools support a vibrant manufacturing sector in the United States, leveling the playing field to help U.S. manufacturers win sales around the world. … This sale promotes ongoing economic opportunities for U.S. companies that provide routine maintenance, parts and service for the lifespan of the aircraft, strengthening commercial diplomacy between the two nations [United States and Panama] for decades to come.”

Lee Falck, co-owner of Pacific Tool, Inc., in Redmond, WA, highlighted what EXIM means Pacific Tool, saying (link is external), “The 737 MAX represents approximately 40% of our revenue, about 75 high-wage, production jobs. The financing role EXIM Bank provides Boeing’s existing and new customers directly relates to increased revenue and jobs.”

In November, EXIM Chairman Reed, Chief of Staff Ryan McCormack, and Chief Banking Officer Steve Renna visited Pacific Tool Inc., and heard first-hand how important EXIM supply chain financing is to maintaining the viability of U.S. aircraft manufacturing jobs.

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