Trump keeps Export-Import Bank, but chooses fierce critic to run it

Scott Garrett appears at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit in Washingt

Scott Garrett appears at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit in Washingt

The bank has become a popular target for conservatives, who have worked in Congress to kill the bank, arguing that it perpetuates cronyism and does little to create American jobs.

According to media reports, President Trump had met on February 23 with the CEOs of GE and Caterpillar, both heavily dependent upon exports, and two days ago, with Boeing former CEO Jim McNerney.

As a candidate Trump railed against the Ex-Im Bank, but this week he said he had been convinced of its benefits.

While most proponents of limited government were dismayed by Trump's decision to renege on his campaign promise to abolish the Ex-Im Bank, Garrett's appointment may well be the next best alternative. Both positions require Senate confirmation.

Garrett and other House Republican conservatives fought the bank, which provides government-backed loans to help USA businesses sell their products overseas. "When other countries give it, we lose a tremendous amount of business". Bachus chaired the House Financial Services Committee and was a supporter of the agency while in Congress.

He also tapped former Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus for a seat on the bank's board of directors.

Backers of the bank say that most of its lending supports small and medium-sized businesses. "But actually, it's a very good thing".

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 previous year but oversaw the corporation's aggressive lobbying effort in support of the bank in 2015. "You know, it actually could make a lot of money".

A product of the New Deal, the bank primarily provides financing for US companies looking to sell their goods overseas when private funding is not available. Trump's about-face followed a meeting on Tuesday with former Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney, who left the company a year ago but oversaw the corporation's aggressive lobbying effort in support of the bank in 2015.

"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". But he told the Wall Street Journal earlier in the week that he would support the bank.

There is about $30 billion worth of deals stuck in the pipeline that could be completed with a quorum.

With a board shortage, the 82-year-old agency authorized only $5 billion in financing in fiscal 2016, the lowest level in almost 40 years, compared with $20 billion in 2014, the last year the bank was fully operational.

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