WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), senior member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, today voiced his strong concerns with the Export-Import Bank during a hearing to examine President Trump’s six nominations to lead the bank.
“I have long held reservations about the Export-Import Bank operating in its current form. … I believe the Export-Import Bank is now a body rampant with corporate cronyism, corruption, and unaccountability.”
Senator Shelby also discussed his support for Former Congressman Scott Garrett, President Trump’s nominee to head the Export-Import Bank, and urged his colleagues to advance all of President’s Export-Import Bank nominees.
“I believe that Mr. Garrett is a man of principle. I have worked with him when he was on the Financial Services Committee. I believe he would be excellent. He is a principled man, and we need those kind of people at the bank. I hope we keep everybody together and that we confirm everybody. If we do not, we will see what we can do to slow the process down because the bank is still corporate welfare.”
During Senator Shelby’s remarks, he cited his various issues with the Bank.
“Latest estimates indicate that the Export-Import Bank finances only two percent of total U.S. exports. This means 98 percent of exports from the U.S. are generated without the Bank’s financing.”
He pointed out that “some large businesses have enough capital to buy their own bank,” and that “large corporations do not need the Export-Import Bank to run an efficient export operation.”
“I am never one to begrudge businesses for being successful. We want them all to be successful. However, the problem with the way the Bank currently operates is that it puts American taxpayers on the hook for deals that these large businesses could independently finance.”
Senator Shelby met with Garrett in August regarding his nomination. President Trump first announced his intent to nominate Garrett to be President of the Export-Import Bank in April. Garrett formerly served as New Jersey’s Congressman for the Fifth District from 2003 – 2017. During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, he chaired the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment.