Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank

Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank
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After years in limbo, the Senate Banking Committee is taking a small step to get the Export-Import Bank running at full strength again with the backing of business groups.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said head of a Thursday morning hearing that it supports the committee’s consideration Kimberly Reed to helm the bank.

NAM said in a letter to committee leaders that it is confident that "Reed will bring to the Ex-Im Bank strong experience in financial management and banking issues."

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"That experience, along with her strong recognition of the importance of the Ex-Im Bank to grow manufacturing and jobs in the United States, will provide much-needed leadership to ensure the Ex-Im Bank operates effectively to advance America’s export success, while ensuring proper fiscal operations at the agency," wrote Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for NAM.

Reed was part of a group of nominees easily approved in December to join the Ex-Im Bank's board of directors.

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE's first nominee — former Republican Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE — failed to get through the committee at the time. 

Instead of nominating someone else to run the bank, in April, Trump tapped Jeffrey Gerrish, who also works for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), to be acting Ex-Im Bank president.

Finally in June, Trump tapped Reed, a former Treasury Department official in President George W. Bush's administration, for the post. 

The Ex-Im Bank has been without a confirmed chairman since Trump took office last year and has been without a quorum — at least three members of a five-member board — since late 2015.

That has put the 84-year-old bank in financial limbo over the past three years, short too many board members to make loans above $10 million.

Currently, there are nearly $43 billion in deals that are stuck in the pipeline due to the lack of a quorum, Dempsey wrote in the letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency at hearing MORE (R-Idaho) and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D-Ohio), ranking member on the panel.

Dempsey said Reed "is a superb choice" and the group supports quick action by the panel and the full Senate on her nomination.

There also are several pending nominees to the Ex-Im Bank board — Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank On The Money: White House files notice of China tariff hikes | Dems cite NYT report in push for Trump tax returns | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Trump praises GM for selling shuttered Ohio factory | Ex-Im Bank back at full strength Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations MORE, Claudia Slacik and Judith Pryor — all of whom the committee has already reported out favorably, that could move through the Senate. 

"Vacancies on the Ex-Im board of directors jeopardize the future of these small businesses and the 1.4 million jobs that the agency has supported over the past eight years," Dempsey wrote.