James G. Burrows is the senior vice president for small business at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EX-IM).
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Serving at the agency since 2012, Burrows has more than 30 years of professional experience in both the public and private sectors of the financial services industry, including commercial banking, retail banking and investment banking – holding management positions at both large and regional commercial banks in the U.S., covering lending, marketing and product development along with executive oversight.
Burrows, who said that he is committed to assisting small businesses interested in pursuing overseas export sales, recently responded to a series of questions posed by Aftermarket Business World:
Q: How can a smaller automotive business benefit by using the EX-IM Bank?
A: EX-IM has helped automotive companies, such as the A.J. Rose Manufacturing Co. in Cleveland, in several ways, including by:
- Increasing a company’s competitiveness by empowering them to offer international clients open credit terms while at the same time protecting the foreign receivables generated by international sales from nonpayment by international customers;
- Entering new markets and acquiring new customers confident in knowing that the company’s financial assets are protected by export credit insurance, and;
- Increasing sales in existing markets by negotiating sales terms that include open-account credit.
Q: What are some of the programs that you offer?
A: Export credit insurance and working capital loan guarantees are examples of two EX-IM programs that benefit U.S.-based exporters.
Export credit insurance is an insurance policy that covers receivables generated by international sales. If a company’s foreign receivables are covered by an export credit insurance policy and the international buyer fails to pay, EX-IM pays the exporter up to 95 percent of the invoice value.
EX-IM’s working capital loan guarantee assists U.S. exporters in obtaining loans to produce goods or services for exports. These loans, made by the company’s commercial lender and backed by EX-IM’s guarantee, provide American businesses with the liquidity to accept new business and compete more effectively in international markets.
Q: What are the qualifications for an automotive business to become an EX-IM customer?
A: At a high level, some of the qualifications are:
- Be based in the United States, be in business for three years or more – there are exceptions – and have a DUNS number. (A DUNS number is a nine-digit identifier applied to each physical location of your company’s facilities, available free-of-charge through Dun & Bradstreet for all businesses required to register with the U.S. Federal government for contracts or grants.)
- Be exporting from the United States to a foreign country.
- Sell a product or service that contains greater than 50 percent U.S. content.
Q: Are all nations covered? Are certain countries emphasized? Are some nations restricted or not allowed?
A: EX-IM is open in over 180 countries. Please see our Country Limitation Schedule on our website for details.
Q: What are the procedures for learning more about the programs, and how can a company begin the application process? How long does it usually typically take to complete?
A: Request a free consultation with your local Trade Financial Specialist – found on our website – who will work with you to complete an application. Export credit insurance applications are usually processed in 10 working days.
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