Senate Committee Backs Reed for Ex-Im Bank

Board Quorum Set for Larger Financing

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee has approved President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kimberly Reed to lead the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The Banking Committee also approved Spencer Bachus III and Judith DelZoppo Pryor as members of the agency's board of directors, raising the board quorum to the necessary number to approve financings larger than $10 million and for longer than seven years.

“Kimberly Reed is a sterling choice for the Export-Import Bank, and in nominating her to lead the agency, President Trump is standing with America’s manufacturing workers. For too long now, the Ex-Im Bank has been hobbled, unable to ever consider action on large deals, while manufacturers lose out on business and jobs to our overseas competitors,” said Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Extensive Delay
Based in Washington, D.C., the Ex-Im bank acts as the official export credit agency of the U.S. government, and has been criticized by some U.S. senators as providing unwarranted government finance for private exporters. Despite this opposition the bank is widely seen as instrumental in supporting transport projects and analysts estimate that funding it supplied has helped to support about US$27.5 billion of U.S. exports and 164,000 U.S. jobs.

Reed’s approval follows a contentious selection period with many in the Senate opposed to Trump’s choice. Due to delays in the selection process the board quorum has been unable to approve larger financings since 2015.
Reed had previously worked on the Trump-Pence Presidential Transition on the Department of Treasury Landing Team as well as chairing the Republican National Lawyers Association’s board of governors.

Bipartisan Support

The approval from the banking committee now sets the stage for confirmation vote on the floor of the Senate, where Reed is expected to garner wide bipartisan support.

“The [Ex-Im Bank’s] work is vital to American competitiveness and jobs.  It makes money for taxpayers (and) it allows American companies to … compete with overseas companies who have access to capital that you don’t,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

The approval was widely welcomed by industry which has long been frustrated by delays in the process.
“Since 2015, a small number of bank opponents have blocked filling these vacancies. The National Association of Manufacturers estimates the U.S. lost at least $119 billion in manufacturing output, translating into 80,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in 2016/17 alone as a result,” said Marco Poisler, COO of global energy and capital projects at UTC.

Photo: Ex-Im bank offices. Credit: GAO