Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Trump picks critic to lead Ex-Im Bank he once opposed

Trump picks critic to lead Ex-Im Bank he once opposed

Along with the nomination of Garrett, President Trump named another former Congressman, ex-Rep.

Trump himself was a critic of the Ex-Im Bank, which is the federal government's export credit agency and has been labeled a form of "corporate welfare" by some conservatives.

Former Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus has been tapped by President Donald Trump for a four-year term on the Export-Import Bank.

Trump's about-face on the export bank comes after meeting on Tuesday with former Boeing Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney, who left the company a year ago but oversaw the corporation's aggressive lobbying effort in support of the bank in 2015.

In a statement of support, the Aerospace Industries Association pointed out that the aerospace and defense industries generated $146 billion in exports a year ago, and that there are 60 foreign government-based export credit agencies that the industry must compete with.

During the election campaign, Mr. Trump dismissed the obscure lending agency as "featherbedding" for politicians and huge companies that don't need it, enthusing opponents who had squeezed its lending powers and said it should die off.

"Instinctively, you would say, 'Isn't that a ridiculous thing?"

"Actually, it's a very good thing. You know, it actually could make a lot of money".

"Rather than pursuing policies that subsidize foreign companies and governments", Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler said, "lawmakers should be advancing policies that truly make America great again".

"Ex-Im has transformed the role of government from a disinterested referee that guarantees a free and open marketplace into a biased actor that tilts the scales in favor of its friends in businesses".

Bachus served in the House of Representatives from 1993 until he retired in 2015 and formerly chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2011 to 2013. We have the opportunity to save capitalism from cronyism and to fulfill a promise to the American people to work for them instead of a select few with special connections in Washington.

Conservatives in Congress ultimately won a temporary shutdown of Ex-Im that lasted for almost six months. Both positions require Senate confirmation. While the bank was revived, its five-member board has lacked a quorum, which restricted it from granting loans of more than $10 million. This financing supported 164,000 American jobs that year, according to the bank, and about 90 percent of the bank's deals helped small businesses.

The bank now has about $30 billion in deals waiting to be authorized.

Even though the president may have softened on the Ex-Im Bank, he still needs to persuade congressional Republicans to support it.

Much of the bank's financing benefits large corporation such as The Boeing Company, General Electric and Caterpillar Inc.

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