Trump keeps Export-Import Bank, but chooses fierce critic to run it

Credit: Jamie Dupree

Credit: Jamie Dupree

A few days after backing off on his campaign pledge to get rid of the Export-Import Bank, President Donald Trump on Friday sent mixed signals about the future of the agency, by nominating a former GOP Congressman to run the bank's operations, who has said it engages in corporate welfare.

Former Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), who lost his 2016 bid for re-election, would be the new President of the Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign companies get the financing they need to buy U.S. products and exports.

During his final two years in Congress, Garrett made no bones about wanting to scrap all federal support for the Ex-Im Bank, labeling it "taxpayer funded welfare" for big corporations.

Mr. Trump's selection of Garrett as the new head of the bank raised immediate questions in Washington about the bank's future, as a number of Republicans who are still in Congress believe the bank is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"Yikes," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) about the news of Garrett's selection.

Along with the nomination of Garrett, President Trump named another former Congressman, ex-Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to the Export-Import Bank board.

Both nominations must still gain Senate approval.