Amid Corruption Charges, Groups Demand EXIM Halt Payments to Trafigura
WASHINGTON – Civil society and environmental groups today requested that the US Export-Import Bank withdraw funding from the Trafigura Group, a major global commodity trader. In December, Bloomberg reported that Trafigura was charged with corruption and bribing elected officials in Angola.
This week, Friends of the Earth United States and partners sent an open letter to EXIM, asking the bank to halt its payment of $400 million to Trafigura, a financing agreement that was approved in July 2023. This letter questions EXIM’s due process in analyzing funding recipients and its method of reconsideration when corruption is revealed. This comes on the heels of both the United States and Swiss governments launching investigations into the company’s affairs.
Despite this, EXIM last year gave Trafigura the massive financing of $400 million to purchase liquefied natural gas, a decision the groups charge was made based on flawed environmental damage assessments. EXIM is soon expected to approve $660 million for the Gas to Energy Project in Guyana, despite similar concerns from activists. In 2023 the institution funded nearly $1 billion for overseas oil and gas development, violating President Biden’s 2021 Executive Order.
Kate DeAngelis, Senior Program Manager of International Finance for Friends of the Earth, said this:
Companies like Trafigura continue to line their pockets with US taxpayer dollars, thanks to the US Export-Import Bank. EXIM should be embarrassed to be spending public funds on propping up companies who disregard the law and disrupt our planet, yet the institution shows no shame. We call on Chairwoman Reta Jo Lewis to live up to her climate pledges and drop this financing, and to invest in renewable energy projects that are better for people and the planet.
Contact: Shaye Skiff, Friends of the Earth United States, [email protected]