USDA Invites Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Facility Guarantee Program

Contact: Amy Slusher (202) 720-6211

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today invited public comment on proposed changes to the Facility Guarantee Program that would expand program coverage and streamline the application process, enhancing the program’s ability to support U.S. agricultural exports.

The Facility Guarantee Program (http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/facility-guarantee-program) is designed to boost sales of U.S. agricultural products in countries where demand may be limited due to inadequate storage, processing, handling or distribution capabilities. The program provides credit guarantees to help finance the establishment or improvement of agriculture-related facilities and related activities, as well as the procurement of goods or services to help facilitate importation of U.S. products.

Under the program, the Commodity Credit Corporation reduces the financial risk to lenders by guaranteeing payments due from approved foreign banks to U.S. exporters or financial institutions.

This proposed rule would revise the application process to reduce burden on participants, with USDA expanding its role in demonstrating a benefit to U.S. agricultural commodity exports. USDA would also offer an initial “letter of interest” stage during which participants could receive preliminary feedback from USDA on a proposed transaction or project. The proposed rule would also allow for coverage of non-U.S. goods if USDA determines that U.S. goods are not available or their use is not practical. It would also incorporate program modifications recently implemented in the GSM-102 Export Credit Guarantee Program (www.fas.usda.gov/programs/export-credit-guarantee-program-gsm-102).

A copy of the proposed rule is available at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-14449. Comments to the rule must be received by Aug. 14, 2015, to be assured consideration. Comments may be submitted via: 

  • Federal eRulemaking portal: Go to www.regulations.gov.  Follow the online instructions to submit comments.
  • E-Mail: GSMregs@fas.usda.gov.
  • Fax:  (202) 720-2495, Attention: FGP Proposed Rule Comments
  • Hand delivery, courier or U.S. mail: Amy Slusher, Deputy Director, Credit Programs Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenues, SW, Stop 1025, Room 5509, Washington, D.C. 20250-1025.

Comments may be inspected at 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekdays, except holidays. 

For more information, contact Amy Slusher, Deputy Director, FAS Credit Programs Division, (202) 720-6211 or Amy.Slusher@fas.usda.gov.

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