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Export loan guarantees

U.S. exporters of RE&EE may discover that their international buyers need additional financing options and more flexible repayment terms to purchase U.S. goods and services. Or, especially in the case of small and medium-sized RE&EE businesses, they may need extra resources to gain an initial foothold in new export markets. In such cases, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will work with participating lenders to provide the financial backing.

Ex-Im Bank - Loan Guarantee Program: These guarantees enable creditworthy international buyers, both private- and public-sector, to obtain loans from lenders, while covering 100 percent of commercial and political risks. Medium-term and long-term financing is available. No limits exist on the transaction size. In addition, the Ex-Im Bank’s Environmental Exports Program provides enhanced levels of financial support, including the loan guarantee, for a broad range of renewable energy and other environmentally beneficial exports.

Financing may also be available for

  • Refurbished equipment.
  • Software.
  • Certain banking and legal fees.
  • Certain local costs and expenses.

Eligibility:

The Ex-Im Bank’s loan guarantees for international buyers are generally used for financing purchases of U.S. capital equipment and services, and exports to large-scale projects.

USDA - Export Credit Guarantee Program: These guarantees provide guaranteed coverage of up to 98 percent for approved letters of credit from foreign banks, thereby enabling both private- and public-sector foreign buyers to purchase U.S. agricultural products, such as bioenergy feedstock. Up to three years of financing is available, and transaction size is limited only by country programs.

Eligibility:

USDA loan guarantees are available to U.S. exporters who have been approved for participation in the GSM–102 program. Exports are limited to U.S. agricultural products.

SBA Export Express: This program provides small businesses that have exporting potential, but need funds to cover the initial costs of entering an export market, with up to $500,000 in export development financing to buy or produce goods or to provide services for export. The loan proceeds can be used for most business purposes, including expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, and inventory or real estate acquisitions to enhance export capabilities.

Eligibility:

SBA Export Express loans are available to businesses that meet the normal requirements for an SBA 7(a) business loan guaranty. Financing is available for manufacturers, wholesalers, export trading companies and service exporters. Loan applicants must demonstrate that the loan proceeds will enable them to enter a new export market or to expand an existing export market. Applicants must have been in business, though not necessarily in exporting, for at least 12 months.

SBAInternational Trade Loan Program: This program provides U.S. businesses that are preparing to engage in or are already engaged in international trade, or are adversely affected by competition from imports with up to $5.25 million in financing to upgrade equipment and facilities. This loan program can also be used to refinance existing indebtedness that is not structured with reasonable terms and conditions. In addition, it can be combined with SBA’s Export Working Capital Program.

Eligibility:

International Trade Loans are available to small businesses that are in a position to expand existing export markets or to develop new export markets, and to small businesses that have been adversely affected by international trade and that can demonstrate that the loan proceeds will improve their competitive position.

RE&EE exports in action

  • POWER Engineers, Inc., an engineering consulting firm based in Hailey, Idaho, exported $4.86 million of procurement, design and engineering services for a 45-megawatt geothermal power project in Turkey in 2008, backed by a 15-year loan guarantee from the Ex-Im Bank. Turkey is expected to emerge as a major market for renewable energy goods and services because a 2005 Turkish law requires electric utilities to buy at least 8 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources.

Where do I start?

To learn more and to apply for these programs, please click on the links for each description.

The U.S. government also provides finance-related events and online training to further assist in exporting your products and services.

To receive counseling on how the programs listed here can help you achieve your international sales goals, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service international trade specialist.

More financing programs

Return to the online guide "Financing" section to read more about programs that can help RE&EE exporters.