Arizona Manufacturer Uses EXIM-Backed Working Capital to Support Local Jobs with Global Sales

July 15, 2019

(Ex-Im Bank) Washington, D.C. – With a highly skilled workforce delivering precision-machined parts worldwide, Competitive Engineering Inc. (CEI) in Tucson, Arizona, has leveraged support from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) to expand its international sales and sustain and create local jobs.

During Made in America Week announced today by the White House, EXIM is highlighting the work of American job creators such as CEI whose export successes contribute to U.S. economic prosperity and national security by supporting jobs in the United States through sales of their goods and services across the globe.

A small business of 73 employees, CEI manufactures precision components for a variety of customers, particularly in the aerospace and data-storage industries. When the company needed to improve cash flow to support its growing export business in 2005, CEI turned to EXIM’s Working Capital Guarantee Program to find a lender that would include foreign accounts receivable as collateral in its borrowing base.

CEI currently benefits from EXIM’s guarantee of a $2.2 million line of credit from the company’s lender, GBC International Bank in City of Industry, California.

“EXIM’s support has been critical to CEI’s continued success,” said CEI President Don Martin, who founded the company with his wife, Charlotte, in 1987. “Exports constitute a significant portion of our business, and we need our foreign accounts receivable to be included as collateral.”

CEI uses the EXIM-guaranteed working capital to cover inventory and purchase of materials while maintaining its cash flow while awaiting payment of foreign accounts receivable. This capacity has enabled the company to remain competitive and sustain exports to major buyers in Mexico and the Philippines.

Over the past five years, EXIM has assisted nearly $55 million of CEI’s exports, which account for approximately 40 percent of the company’s revenues. As a result, CEI has been able to remain competitive and increase revenue—leading to the creation of an additional 10 jobs in the past two years.

“EXIM’s program has given us access to the working capital we need to sustain our exports and the jobs of our hard-working employee,” Martin added.

EXIM’s working capital guarantee enables U.S. exporters, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to obtain working capital loans from qualified commercial lenders, based on inventory and foreign accounts receivable. EXIM does not replace the commercial lenders but instead provides the lender with a 90 percent loan guarantee that protects the lender from the risk of nonpayment.

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