WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Export-Import Bank would provide financing for exports of Airbus Group jetliners, provided they are assembled in the United States with sufficient content from US suppliers, the bank’s head said on Wednesday.
“We’re about US jobs,” Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.
“We have no national treasures,” Hochberg said, in a reference to Airbus archrival Boeing Co. “Every company is a national treasure.”
The bank, which supports loans for US manufacturers selling products to foreign companies, is at the center of a bruising battle over whether Congress should renew its authority to operate, which expires Sept 30.
About 46 percent of the bank’s total financial exposure is for jetliners made by Boeing, according to US Government Accountability Office figures.
Airbus is setting up a factory in Mobile, Alabama to make commercial jets, and is due to begin making deliveries in 2016.
While Airbus intends to sell the planes to US airlines, there would be no restriction against US export credit support for foreign airlines buying US-made Airbus planes, Hochberg said.
“To the extent that the Airbus plane is actually made here, we could support those exports that are made in the United States,” he said.