USDA makes changes to export credit guarantee programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made changes to three export credit guarantee programs to comply with a recent World Trade Organization cotton decision in a dispute with Brazil.
The three USDA Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) programs that will be changed are the Export Credit Guarantee Program, the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee Program, and the Supplier Credit Guarantee Program.
Starting July 1, the CCC now uses a “risk-based fee structure” for the Export Credit Guarantee and the Supplier Credit Guarantee programs. Fee rates are based on the country risk that CCC is undertaking, in addition to the repayment term and frequency under the guarantee. According to the USDA, the new fees respond to a key finding by the WTO that the fees charged by the programs should be risk based.
Also, starting July 1, the CCC no longer accepts applications for payment guarantees under the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee Program. Any remaining country and regional allocations for this program coverage under fiscal 2005 program announcements will be reallocated to the existing Export Credit Guarantee Program for that country or region.
“The export credit guarantee programs are one part of the WTO case,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a statement. “The (Bush) administration continues to evaluate other steps that could be taken to respond to the WTO cotton decision.”
For more details about the changes, access the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov.