The Ex-Im Bank.is back in business. The Senate, on May 8, confirmed Kimberly Reed for president of the bank, and former Representative Spencer Bachus and Judith DelZoppo Pryor to be members of the board of directors.
These confirmations will provide the quorum the agency needs to approve deals that are valued at more than $10 million for the first time since 2015.
Bloomberg News notes that the nominees were confirmed "despite objections from conservative Republicans who say the Ex-Im bank provides corporate welfare for wealthy manufacturing and aerospace companies such as Boeing Co. and General Electric Co., and big banks, like JPMorgan Chase & Co., that help finance deals."
Also according to Bloomberg News. the Ex-Im Bank says it has "almost $40 billion in pending transactions awaiting consideration by the board, which would support an estimated 230,000 jobs."
The National Association of Manufacturers sees these confirmations in a positive light and says that it will significantly enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness against foreign nations, including China:
“Now that the Export-Import Bank is on track to be fully functional again, after a four-year hiatus, manufacturers in America can once more reach their full potential and more aggressively compete against China and others,” said Jay Timmons, CEO of NAM.
“While the agency was sidelined, billions of dollars’ worth of deals were lost to foreign competitors, resulting in tens of thousands of unrealized manufacturing jobs. Thanks to the leadership of President Trump, Leader McConnell and senators on both sides of the aisle, this self-inflicted damage is now over.
“This bipartisan victory will be short-lived, however, if Congress does not act swiftly to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before the September deadline. For manufacturers, this is a serious threat looming on the horizon. If Congress fails to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, lawmakers will be responsible for slowing manufacturing’s growth and handing countries like China a competitive edge. Now is not the time to squander the historic progress we’ve made in recent years.”
Over the past ten years, the Ex-Im Bank has supported 1.7 million jobs. More than 90% of those transactions supported small businesses.