Business at Thrush Aircraft Inc. should be booming this time of year as the Georgia company ships its crop dusters to customers in Brazil preparing to fertilize crops.
A partial U.S. government shutdown, however, has brought about $13 million worth of orders to a halt because the shuttered U.S. Export-Import Bank isn’t providing financing for the buyers in South America, where it’s now spring.
Export-Import Bank financing can act as an “export magnet” because sales of complex systems like aircraft or satellites also benefit suppliers, Remy Nathan, vice president for international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association, said in a phone interview. The Arlington, Virginia-based industry group’s members include Lockheed Martin Corp. and United Technologies Corp.
With inventories of chemical ingredients running low for products in production, “it may not take long for the bottlenecks to have an effect on supplies of crop protection products for agriculture,” which would disrupt planting seasons, McAllister said.