In about-face, Trump nominates new head of export bank

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump nominated former Republican lawmaker Scott Garrett (pictured) as president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, completing an about-face over an institution he had denounced as “featherbedding” for big business.
A White House statement also named Spencer Bachus, another Republican former congressman, to be a member of the board of directors of the bank. Both were named for four-year terms.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on last Wednesday he would fill the two vacancies on the bank’s five-member board that have prevented it from having a quorum and being able to act on loans over $10 million.
His picks must gain approval from the Senate, which blocked nominees by former President Barack Obama.
The Export-Import Bank, an independent government agency, provides loans to foreign entities that enable them to purchase American-made goods. For example, it has been used by foreign airlines to purchase planes from Boeing Co and farmers in developing nations to acquire equipment.
The bank has become a popular target for conservatives, who worked in Congress to kill the institution, arguing that it perpetuates cronyism and does little to create American jobs.
Trump’s backing of the bank represents a victory for manufacturers like Boeing and General Electric Co, which have overseas customers that use the agency’s government-backed loans to purchase their products. Trump told the Journal the bank benefits small businesses and creates jobs, a reversal of his earlier criticism of the bank as being “featherbedding” for wealthy corporations. — Reuters