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Air Tractor named Exporter of the Year

Air Tractor was recognized as an Exporter of the Year award recipient by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) at its 2023 annual conference held in Washington, D.C. on October 20, 2023. The award was presented by the Honorable Reta Jo Lewis, EXIM President and Chair, and the Honorable Judith D. Pryor, EXIM First Vice President and Vice Chair. Air Tractor Finance Manager Phil Jeske and Portfolio Manager Scott Neal accepted the award on behalf of Air Tractor.

Ms. Lewis was quoted as saying “The eight exporters recognized this year serve as prime examples of the strength of U.S. small business and American exporting….EXIM is dedicated to facilitating the exporting success of U.S. small businesses as we work to reshore American jobs and reinforce the domestic supply chain. This year’s recipients show how EXIM financing can make a difference and help us fulfill our mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports”.

EXIM is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports.

To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans.

As a lender of last resort, EXIM offers financing solutions to well-qualified buyers of U.S. manufactured goods when private-sector lenders are unable or unwilling to.

As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States.

This support is provided at a cost in the form of a country risk based exposure fee, which typically ranges between 3% and 10% of the loan amount. These fees are used to pay EXIM’s operating expenses, with the excess funds being used to offset or payback appropriations and repayment of U.S. debt.

Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.

Air Tractor has been utilizing EXIM financing programs since the early 1990s to facilitate sales of new aircraft to international markets.

Prior to 1995, exports accounted for roughly 20% of annual sales. Today, exports account for more than 50% of sales annually, topping 60% three of the last four years. Of these exports, half are made possible with EXIM financing.

In FY2023, Air Tractor received EXIM approval for 51 loans for borrowers from 4 different countries (Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay). In total, EXIM has supported more than 500 Air Tractor exports to customers in over 10 different countries. Even with the high volume of loans approved by EXIM over the past 30 years, not a single claim has been filed for a default by an Air Tractor customer.

Air Tractor’s Export Finance Department consists of five employees (Phil Jeske, Scott Neal, John Hensley, Bryan Schmidt, and Jamie Kulhanek) dedicated to ensuring a prospective buyer is creditworthy and qualifies for EXIM support.

This process involves everything from initial underwriting of the application to servicing the loan until it is paid in full. The success of collecting every loan issued by Air Tractor over the past 30+ years can be attributed to this “cradle to the grave” approach.

Air Tractor will continue to look for EXIM Bank support as it expands sales to foreign markets, which is vital to creating and sustaining jobs right here in Olney, Texas.