Boeing welcomed a measure of positive news Wednesday after weeks of negative publicity over the second crash of a 737 Max when the U.S. Senate confirmed three nominees of President Donald Trump as members of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im). The bipartisan vote restores the export credit agency to its full capacity and what Boeing executive vice president of government operations Tim Keating called “an important tool” in the company’s set of available financing instruments.
"Congress took a key step today to help American companies compete and win in the international market,” said Keating. “Now the Ex-Im Bank is fully operational and can begin approving the billions in deals stuck in the pipeline that 240,000 American manufacturing workers are counting on.”
The Senate’s action re-establishes the quorum of three members on Ex-Im's board of directors the bank needs to authorize transactions greater than $10 million. During the more than three years the board operated without a quorum, the Ex-Im bank couldn’t approve such larger transactions, effectively preventing it from authorizing long-term financing.
“This is a great day for U.S. exporters, their workers, and their suppliers across the country,” said Ex-Im chairman and acting president Jeffrey Gerrish. “Ex-Im has nearly $40 billion worth of export deals in the pipeline that can move forward in support of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. The Senate’s bipartisan votes today renew opportunities for U.S. exporters to compete on a level playing field in markets and industries where China and other nations are aggressively supporting their exporters. With Ex-Im restored to full functionality, our exporters again have a fighting chance to win export sales on the fair basis of quality and price instead of on the availability of government-backed financing.”
The new Ex-Im board members include former U.S. Treasury official Kimberly Reed, who will serve as president and board chairman; former U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus III; and former Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) vice president of external affairs Judith DelZoppo Prior. Two other nominees await Senate approval.