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Obama Offers Loan Guarantees to Ford Motors to Boost Exports

President Barack Obama says his administration will help U.S. auto giant Ford Motor Company export more than 200,000 vehicles by giving the company a loan guarantee.

Mr. Obama announced the move Thursday on a visit to a Ford plant in his hometown of Chicago in the U.S. Midwest. Ford will receive the loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a government agency that provides credit for export transactions.

Mr. Obama's tour of the Ford plant follows a visit last week to the city of Detroit, where he inspected facilities of U.S. automakers, General Motors and Chrysler. Mr. Obama has said his administration's $60 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler last year prevented a collapse of the two companies and saved jobs.

Ford weathered the financial crisis without government aid. Mr. Obama said Thursday, however, that a failure of Ford's two rivals would have had serious consequence for Ford by hurting suppliers shared by the carmakers.

The president has said the government bailout of the industry has enabled all three carmakers to operate at a profit for the first time in six years. He says U.S. automakers are keeping plants open during traditional summer shutdowns to keep up with demand.

Mr. Obama also is attending fundraisers Thursday in Chicago for his Democratic Party and Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who is running for the president's old U.S. senate seat.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.