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President Trump Will Get the Ex-Im Bank Back in Operation

April 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—President Trump has wisely reversed his previous opposition to the operation of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and has decided to nominate two people to fill the vacancies in the Board of Trustees at the Bank. The vacancies have prevented it from operating for more than a year. Free-market neocons have attacked the Bank as "corporate welfare," accused it of being "riddled with corruption," featherbedding for wealthy corporations, etc.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal April 12, Trump said: "I was very much opposed to the Ex-Im Bank, because I said, what do we need that for IBM and for General Electric and all these—it turns out that, first of all, lots of small companies will really be helped, the vendor companies, but also maybe more importantly, other countries give it [the financial support]. And when other countries give it, we lose a tremendous among of business. So instinctively you would say it’s a ridiculous thing, but actually, it’s a very good thing and it actually makes money..."

The Ex-Im Bank was created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 by Executive Order 6581. The purpose is to extend credit to nations so they are able to purchase products from the United States, where the risk is too high to garner private credit. The Ex-Im Bank helped finance the Pan-American Highway, the Burma Road, and post-World War II reconstruction.

In a statement of support, the Aerospace Industries Association pointed out that the aerospace and defense industries generated $146 billion in exports last year, and that there are 60 foreign government-based export credit agencies that the industry must compete with.

According to media reports, President Trump had met on Feb. 23 with the CEOs of GE and Caterpillar, both heavily dependent upon exports, and two days ago, with Boeing former CEO Jim McNerney. General Electric has also been lobbying to get the bank back in business.