Historic board meeting attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2019
Linda Formella (202-565-3204)
EXIM’s board of directors applauds the installation of the bank’s chief ethics and chief risk officers. Left to right: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. (ex officio member), EXIM Board Member Judith Pryor, EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed, and EXIM Board Member Spencer Bachus III. At right is Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Jeffrey D. Gerrish, former acting EXIM president and chairman prior to the installation of the new board.
Washington, D.C. – Today the newly sworn-in board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) held the first EXIM board meeting in nearly four years due to the lack of a board quorum from July 2015 until May 2019. The quorum on EXIM’s board of directors was restored with the U.S. Senate confirmations on May 8 of three board nominees of President Donald J. Trump.
EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed presided over the meeting, with the two other EXIM board members, Spencer Bachus III and Judith Pryor, participating. Attending the board meeting was U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., who serves as one of two ex officio board members with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer. Also attending was Ambassador Jeffrey D. Gerrish, deputy U.S. trade representative for Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Industrial Competitiveness. Ambassador Gerrish served as acting EXIM president and chairman from April 24, 2018, until Chairman Reed’s swearing in on May 9.
“This is truly an important moment for the bank, for the dozens of great American companies that are ready to roll, and for the American workers who will soon be busy making the world’s greatest products for customers throughout the world with EXIM support,” said Secretary Ross, who spoke during the open portion of the meeting.
“After a long, almost four-year drought, the United States is back in the export-financing game. With the board’s approval today of the bank’s officers overseeing ethics and risk, and Chairman Reed’s commitment to improving the bank, a newly reformed EXIM will go a long way to convincing skeptics of your value to the American economy. We look forward to working with you in the days ahead to support American jobs and exports,” Secretary Ross said.
“I am delighted to be holding the first EXIM board meeting three weeks after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. I am deeply honored for this opportunity to help enact President Trump’s agenda of putting ‘America First’ by assisting the thousands of U.S. exporters that EXIM supports to create American jobs and to grow our nation’s economy,” said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly Reed.
Reed added, “I am also very pleased that in this first board meeting, we are satisfying remaining congressional mandates of EXIM’s reauthorization in December 2015 that include the appointing of our chief ethics officer and chief risk officer. These roles are critical to carrying out the reforms of bank that were mandated under the 2015 charter. I am committed to fully reopening, reforming, and reauthorizing the bank so that we keep American taxpayers’ interests paramount in executing EXIM’s mission of growing jobs through exporting.”
In accord with the intent of Congress as set forth in EXIM’s 2015 Reform and Reauthorization Act, the board approved a proposed resolution on individual delegated authority (IDA) under which short- and medium-term transactions can be approved by specific senior officers. Under the approved resolution, the upper limit of the dollar amount of individual transactions eligible for IDA was raised from the previous limit of $10 million per transaction to $25 million. The resolution also accounts for the bank’s divisional reorganization that has taken place since the 2015 reauthorization.
EXIM’s board approved the termination of the bank’s Audit Committee as required by Congress pursuant to the 2015 legislation. Replacing the Audit Committee, Congress established in the legislation a new Risk Management Committee that has a larger scope of responsibility. The board also approved Lisa V. Terry as chief ethics officer and Kenneth M. Tinsley as chief risk officer. In addition, the board approved amended and restated bylaws that had been awaiting board consideration since the loss of the quorum in July 2015.
ABOUT EXIM BANK:
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. goods and services. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, 90 percent of the total number of the bank’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 2000, EXIM has sent $14.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury after paying for all of its administrative and program expenses.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.