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The Advocacy Center

Coordinated Export Credit Agency (ECA) Support


U.S. Department of Commerce &
Export Import Bank of the United States



On February 20, 2003, the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) inaugurating an initiative to simplify and expand access to financing programs for U.S. exporters—especially Small-and-Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs)—seeking U.S. Government (USG) advocacy assistance. This change will encourage Commerce's Advocacy Center and the Ex-Im Bank to coordinate their respective programs more effectively in order to better serve U.S. business interests competing in the international marketplace.


This FACT SHEET outlines the interagency procedures adopted to implement the subject MOU.

  • When U.S. companies contact the Commerce Department's Advocacy Center requesting USG assistance in obtaining foreign contracts, they will be informed of Ex-Im Bank financing options and asked if they would like the Center to refer their advocacy filing to Ex-Im Bank for follow-on review of export financing options.
  • On completion of review and as appropriate, Ex-Im Bank may issue a Letter of Interest (LOI) to the applicant company.
  • With an Ex-Im Bank LOI in hand, a U.S. business interest (particularly an SME) will have the most competitive financing offer the USG can provide—and perhaps a leg-up over competing foreign firms—in the project or procurement competition. Thus, the original application for advocacy support has provided a U.S. exporter with not only appropriate USG intervention in the commercial competition itself, but also a demonstrable expression of USG interest in financing the venture, e.g., leveraging USG advocacy on behalf of U.S. business interests.
  • The Advocacy Center and Ex-Im Bank will maintain open communications on all referred cases in an effort to ensure that referrals are reviewed expeditiously and that an LOI, if deemed appropriate, is supplied in a timely manner.

As appropriate, the Advocacy Center and Ex-Im Bank will explore expediting assistance to frequent client firms. Please contact the Advocacy Center at (202) 482-3896 for more information on how to engage USG advocacy support and Ex-Im Bank financing simultaneously.