A Salute to the Export-Import Bank and Gulfstream

Photo from the Feb. 21 Ex-Im Bank event at Gulfstream facility in Ga. (Left to Right: Ex-Im Bank Chairman Hochberg, AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey, Gulfstream President Larry Flynn)

On February 21, 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced at an event held at the Savannah, Ga., headquarters of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation that it had surpassed its goal of financing $1 billion in sales of American-made business aircraft and helicopters.

“The tremendous achievement of Ex-Im Bank to reach this target so quickly proves its value not only to general aviation, but also to space systems and commercial aviation,” said Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA. “We must remember that the bank does its great work at no cost to the American taxpayer and in 2013 actually returned $1.1 billion to the U.S. Treasury.” 

At the European Business Convention and Exhibition in May 2012, Chairman Hochberg announced that the Bank intended to provide financing for at least $1 billion in business-aircraft and helicopters by the end of 2014. The goal was met with months to spare.

The Bank’s contributions help grow domestic employment and provide work at both major manufacturers and thousands of small businesses across the country – for Gulfstream this has meant thousands of new jobs over the past few years.

“The increase in international demand [for business aircraft] has led to more jobs here in the U.S. In 2010, Gulfstream announced that it would add 1,000 jobs in Savannah over a seven-year period,” said Larry Flynn, President, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. “I’m proud to say that a little over three years later, we’ve added not 1,000, not 2,000 – but 2,500 jobs. We could not have done this without the tremendous support of many, including Ex-Im Bank, the Aerospace Industries Association and our elected officials.”

Domestic job growth is just one byproduct of the Bank’s focus on promoting U.S. exports through helping foreign buyers secure financing for the purchase of American-made products. These products cover a broad range of industries beyond aerospace and include: oil and gas, mining, agribusiness, renewable energy, medical equipment, construction equipment and power generation. The Bank’s success in crossing the billion dollar mark is the result of a recently approved deal with China-based Minsheng Financial Leasing Company to secure a 300 million dollar loan guarantee for the purchase of eight new business aircraft from Gulfstream.

“Business aircraft is a great example of a homegrown American industry that is creating jobs in communities across the country, thanks to support from the Export-Import Bank,” said Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Bank. “Despite an increase in the number of foreign competitors, America’s business jet manufacturers continue to demonstrate the advantages of manufacturing high technology, high-quality products in the USA. Our loan guarantee, which pushes us over the $1 billion threshold for business-aircraft and helicopter financings months before our in-house deadline, will boost the export of eight of these state-of-the-art, American-made business jets to China and bolster U.S. jobs in Georgia. It is great to see that even in this competitive global marketplace, the Chinese continue to buy American.”

The Export-Import Banks press release is available here. Marion C. Blakey’s remarks are available here. Larry Flynn’s remarks are available here.