The US Export-Import Bank said on Thursday that it does not expect to incur any losses on approximately $3 billion in financing that it has authorized to help foreign companies buy Boeing's 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, which has been grounded because of battery-related problems.
"None of Ex-Im Bank's financings for 787 Dreamliner aircraft are at risk during, or after, this important FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) review to ensure passenger safety," Daniel Reilly, senior vice president for communications at the bank, said in response to a query.
"In addition to taking security interests in the Dreamliners themselves, the bank has protected taxpayers by obtaining guarantees and cross-collateralization - that is, the bank has security interests in other aircraft in addition to the financed Dreamliners," Reilly said.
The bank provides both direct loans and loan guarantees to help U.S. manufacturers sell their goods around the world.
In recent years, it has been a target of conservative Republicans in Congress, who say the government should not be involved in financing exports and worry taxpayers could be stuck with the bill in the case of default.
Boeing is both the largest U.S. exporter and the biggest recipient of Ex-Im Bank financing support.
The FAA temporarily grounded Boeing's new commercial airliner, the 787, on Wednesday, saying carriers would have to demonstrate the batteries were safe before the planes could resume flying.
Poland's state-controlled LOT Airlines said it would seek compensation from Boeing for grounding its two planes, adding to concern that a spate of incidents plaguing the Dreamliner could lead to bigger problems for the U.S. manufacturer.
Ex-Im Bank has authorized financing of about $3 billion to help Boeing sell the Dreamliner to five airlines, Reilly said.
To date, the bank has guaranteed disbursements of about $700 million to three airlines, Reilly said.
Over the past 25 years, the bank has provided about $100 billion in financing to help U.S. companies export about 1,800 commercial aircraft, he added.
"Ex-Im has collected over $3 billion in fees, and sustained a single loss of $4 million on one aircraft," Reilly said.
That is about four-thousandths of 1 percent of all the bank's commercial aircraft authorizations, he said.