Trump throws support behind Ex-Im Bank

Trump throws support behind Ex-Im Bank
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President Trump on Wednesday threw his support behind the Export-Import Bank, a stark reversal of his opposition to the lender during the 2016 presidential campaign.  

“It turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies are really helped, the vendor companies,” Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal

“But also, maybe more important, other countries give [assistance]. When other countries give it we lose a tremendous amount of business.”

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The president’s about-face is likely to anger conservative Republican critics of the bank, who say it has enabled crony capitalism. Many believed that with Trump in the White House and GOP control of Capitol Hill, the bank’s days were numbered

But Trump said he plans to fill two vacancies on the bank’s board, which could help it ramp up its lending activities. 

“Instinctively, you would say, ‘Isn’t that a ridiculous thing,’ ” the president said of the bank. “But actually, it’s a very good thing. And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money.”

In early February, Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampJustice Dept investigating Equifax stock sales: report Dem senator: Trump 'very serious' about infrastructure Trump steps up courtship of Dems MORE (D-N.D.) said Trump told her during a lunch meeting at the White House that he would soon nominate someone to get the bank's five-member board to a quorum, allowing it to make deals worth more than $10 million.
 
Congressional supporters of the embattled bank failed last year to revive the higher lending limit. 
 
Business groups, along with Democratic and Republican lawmakers had pushed for Ex-Im to operate for up to three years with only two board members, instead of three.
 
Vicki Needham contributed.