A White House official announced that the US Export-Import Bank will unveil a loan guarantee on Thursday for Ford Motor Co. that will fund $3.1 billion in sales of cars and trucks to consumers in Canada and Mexico.
This announcement coincides with President Barack Obama's visit to his hometown of Chicago to tour a Ford assembly plant in order to put the spotlight on the US auto industry's export potential and his administration's role in reviving the sector.
This official added that the bank's loan guarantee will cover more than 200,000 Ford vehicle export sales, standing for 15% of its 2009 production. The Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) will provide the funding for the revolving $250 million loan backed by Ex-Im's guarantee.
In one year, the loan, fees and interest are expected to be paid off. These vehicles will be manufactured by plants in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio. This is the second trip in a week that Obama made in efforts to draw attention to what his administration considers one of its top economic successes.
Obama went to General Motors Co and Chrysler plants in Detroit last week, where he defended his decision to bail out those two companies in 2009. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy while Ford, which was able to steer clear of it, had supported its rivals in their requests for US government funding that also aided to avoid a collapse of the auto parts supply base.
Obama is seeking to play up its economic success stories ahead of November congressional elections that could produce major gains for Republicans, who have criticized him for not being able to reduce near double-digit unemployment levels. The Obama administration is stressing that the auto sector as one area where it had been able to save jobs.