The White House announced Friday that it would nominate an outspoken critic of the Export-Import Bank to head the agency, after a week in which president Trump seemed to have changed his stance on the controversial bank.
Former representative Scott Garrett (Republic –New Jersey), who voted twice against reauthorising the Ex-Im bank while in Congress, would be nominated as the bank's president. Also representative Spencer T Bachus III (Republican -Alabama) would be nominated to join the bank's board. Both nominees would require confirmation of the Congress.
Garrett who helped found the House Freedom Caucus, had earlier criticised the bank might soon be leading it. Speaking on the floor of the House in 2015, Garrett called the Ex-Im Bank a ''fund for corporate welfare'' and ''a bank that embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system.''
The bank, which offered financial support to US exporters, had been in the line of fire from conservative Republicans. The opposition had ensured that the bank remained effectively dormant for close to two years. However, thanks to the appointments, the bank might resume lending in earnest according to commentators.
Though Trump had opposed the bank during his campaign, he indicated in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he planned to reopen the bank, which, according to commentators, indicated a shift in his view on economic policy.
Garrett's confirmation could see him serve a four-year term at the helm of the bank, which aimed to make US exports more competitive around the world by lending money to foreign buyers.
''Instinctively, you would say, 'Isn't that a ridiculous thing,' '' the president told The Wall Street Journal. ''But actually, it's a very good thing. And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money.''
According to Conservative groups including Club for Growth, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity, which had long opposed the bank, it promoted crony capitalism.