U.S. to Guarantee $3.1 Billion Loan to Ford

The U.S. government will guarantee a $3.1 billion loan to Ford Motor Co. (F) to help the carmaker export over 200,000 cars to Canada and Mexico.

"Export-Import Bank of the United States will announce a new loan guarantee for Ford that will finance 3.1 billion dollars of export sales," The White House said, according to Agence-France Presse.

President Barack Obama, who today visits a Ford plant in his home town of Chicago, says he wants the U.S. to double exports in the next five years.

Ford is the only one of the so-called big three U.S. auto manufacturers to make it through the economic downturn without financial assistance from the federal government. Both General Motors and Chrysler received government aid, then entered bankruptcy.

Still, the government is offering Ford loan guarantees to help the company develop more environmentally-friendly cars such as the "energy efficient 2011 Ford Explorer" which will be exported to over 90 countries, The White House said.