U.S. and Israel Sign Off on Loan Guarantees
As part of this week's meetings of the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG), U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Israeli Finance Ministry Director General Doron Cohen on Wednesday marked the extension of the U.S.-Israel Loan Guarantee program in an event in the Diplomatic Room of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
According to a statement by the U.S. Treasury, the officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a new framework for administering the recently extended U.S.-Israel Loan Guarantee program, which is designed to help the Israeli government access financial resources from private capital markets at affordable rates, in order to promote the country's economic growth and stability.
Along with the Loan Guarantee Commitment Agreement administered through the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the statement, the new framework affirms the United States' confidence in Israel's strong economic fundamentals and the Government of Israel's solid track record of policy implementation.
"Israel is a vital partner and ally of the United States," said Geithner. "The continued availability of this loan guarantee will allow Israel to continue to enjoy access to capital markets at affordable rates in the years to come."
On July 27, 2012, President Barack Obama signed legislation extending the U.S. loan guarantee program for Israel to 2016. This will allow the U.S. to provide access to up to $3.8 billion in future loan guarantees as part of a $9 billion commitment made by the U.S. in 2003. The loan guarantees, together with effective management by the Israeli government, have helped support Israel's strong economic recovery, noted the Treasury’s statement.
"Israel appreciates the longstanding extraordinary support of the United States for Israel and the relationship between two countries that have so much in common," said Israeli Finance Ministry Director General Doron Cohen.
"The JEDG and Loan Guarantees program have contributed to the security and stability of the Israeli economy, and the JEDG will continue to enhance the relationship between our countries,” he added.
The JEDG, which is being held in Washington on October 24-25, is the primary economic dialogue between the United States and Israel.