WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The acting head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank said on Thursday he hoped the trade agency’s full board of directors will be in place by the fall after approval by the Senate Banking Committee.
“I would expect and hope that all five of those names will be before the Senate Banking committee before the end of this month, that is prior to the August recess of Congress,” acting EXIM chief Charles Hall told the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
“I’m very hopeful by late September, early October ... we should have a fully functioning board and EX-IM Bank would be up to doing its full job, which is supporting U.S. exporters,” he said.
Hall, an Obama administration appointee, said the current pipeline of applications for EX-IM Bank trade financing was around $30 billion, half of which was ready for board approval.
“I would anticipate that once we have a fully functioning board, within three months or so we will have dealt with about $15 billion in authorizations,” he added.
Conservative Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have fought for years to revoke the bank’s charter, charging that it provides unnecessary “corporate welfare” to giant corporations such as Boeing Co, General Electric Co and Caterpillar Inc.
Its charter was allowed to expire in 2015 but was restored five months later after a bitter fight in Congress.
Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis