Boeing says Export-Import Bank vital to U.S. growth

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, in this April 24, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

(Reuters) - Restoring the U.S. Export-Import Bank's full lending powers is vital to the country's economic growth and to shrinking trade deficits, planemaker Boeing Co BA.N said on Wednesday after President Donald Trump nominated Kimberly Reed as the trade bank's president.

“Restoring the Export-Import Bank to full strength with a Board quorum is the best thing Washington can do right now to grow our economy through exports, shrink our trade deficits, and level the playing field so American workers can win,” Tim Keating, Boeing’s executive vice president of government operations, said in a statement.

The White House nominated Reed to be president of EXIM earlier on Wednesday.

Confirmation by the full U.S. Senate of at least three board members will allow EXIM to resume approval of loans and guarantees above $10 million, returning the United States to export financing for major projects such as commercial aircraft and power turbines for the first time since June 2015.

Restoring the bank's lending powers would be seen as a victory for American manufacturers like Boeing and General Electric Co GE.N, which have overseas customers that use the agency's government-backed loans to purchase their products.

EXIM has a $42 billion backlog of deals in its pipeline awaiting approval.

The White House withdrew its earlier nomination for Reed to serve as EXIM’s first vice president. The U.S. Senate Banking Committee approved Reed for that job last December, along with three other nominees. The White House did not say who it would nominate to fill the first vice president job.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Leslie Adler