Despite several politically induced senior-level oversight vacancies, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is still open for business and eager to assist aftermarket executives seeking assistance for selling products to overseas customers.
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The independent, self-sustaining quasi-governmental agency is beset by controversy as conservatives and liberals alike have denounced it as a bastion of “cronyism” and “corporate welfare.” President Donald Trump’s slate of five nominees to fill empty Board of Directors seats has yet to receive confirmation hearings, and critics questioned whether his rejected selection to become chairman and president, former Republican Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, was intent on implementing reforms or totally eliminating the program. Two Republicans joined Democrats in turning down Garrett's nomination by a 13-10 margin in a December vote of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
In the meantime, Ex-Im’s career-oriented management and staff are still reporting to work each day and operations are ongoing, according to spokeswoman Linda Formella.
“We’re certainly trying to reach out to more customers,” she says, declining to discuss the political brouhaha with Aftermarket Business World while asserting that Ex-Im’s current Congressional authorization remains valid until at least 2019.
Ex-Im “serves the people of the United States by helping American businesses grow through selling their products to other countries,” says Acting Chairman and President Charles J. Hall, a veteran of the nation’s diplomatic corps. “We are proud of our role as a mechanism for job creation and economic prosperity.”
Individual states are continuing to join the Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP) launched in 2016 with a roster of nearly 40 economic development organizations in more than 35 states and two U.S. territories.