Trump riles conservatives by reversing campaign stance, embracing Ex-Im Bank

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Trump riles conservatives by reversing campaign stance, embracing Ex-Im Bank

Mr. Trump's selection of Garrett as the new head of the bank raised immediate questions in Washington about the bank's future, as a number of Republicans who are still in Congress believe the bank is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHouse Intel Dem visits Cyprus for Russian Federation probe Trump picks critic of Ex-Im Bank to lead it Trump to speak at NRA leadership forum MORE on Friday announced his intent to nominate former Rep. "I think it's unnecessary", he told Bloomberg in August 2015. Both nominations must be ratified by the Senate.

While in Congress, Garrett voted against reauthorizing the bank and said that it "embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system".

On the campaign trail, Trump called the bank "featherbedding" for politicians and companies.

Large American corporations that do significant amounts of exports say other countries have similar agencies and the export bank levels the playing field. Bachus chaired the House Financial Services Committee and was a supporter of the agency while in Congress. After bipartisan support for a renewal of the bank's charter, conservatives then blocked nominees to the board.

The bank has been hobbled in recent years without enough board members to produce a quorum, blocking it from approving transactions exceeding $10 million.

The Ex-Im Bank is often maligned as the "Bank of Boeing", but about 90% of its 3,746 authorizations for guarantees, insurance and working capital in 2014 and $5.1 billion of its authorized funds went to US small businesses.

"Actually, it's a very good thing".

His views reportedly changed after a meeting with former Boeing Jim McNerney Tuesday, CNBC reported, and he now favors keeping the Ex-Im Bank authorized. "And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money".

A product of the New Deal, the bank primarily provides financing for USA companies looking to sell their goods overseas when private funding is not available.

Conservative groups including Club for Growth, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity have long opposed the bank, saying it promotes crony capitalism.

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.

How Garrett might alter the bank's operations to win support from conservative Republicans remains to be seen.

The bank now has about $30 billion in deals waiting to be authorized. But he told the Wall Street Journal earlier in the week that he would support the bank.

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