Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I am very pleased to come before you as you consider my nomination to be President and Chairman of the United States Export – Import Bank. With your indulgence, I shall omit reciting my biographical background, which is submitted with this statement.
If the Senate acts favorably on my nomination, it will be my fifth confirmation. Some might say, it’s about time this old warrior hung ‘em up, but I relish this new challenge because I have never found a canvas as big to paint on as public service offers and I am particularly excited about the prospect of leading the Export -Import Bank.
Export -Import Bank is a venerable independent agency with a reputation for professionalism and objectivity. It has enjoyed strong bipartisan Congressional support since its establishment under President Franklin Roosevelt and it performs important roles in fostering American exports and thereby stimulating economic activity and job creation here at home. It accomplishes this by helping to level the playing field for U.S. exporters in an increasingly challenging and complex global marketplace where they contend with foreign competitors who may be very generously assisted by their sovereigns, and by assuming the financier’ responsibility and risk where commercial institutions fear to tread. Yet over the years, Ex-Im has handled the taxpayers’ money quite responsibly. So Ex-Im has carried out its mission well.
But I would be disappointed if this Committee and indeed the entire Senate did not expect of me and every nominee it approved that the person would go to the job alert to opportunities to do things better and maybe differently. Without at this point having specific knowledge of what those opportunities might be at the Export -Import Bank, I welcome ideas from Congress, the exporting community and anyone else.
A couple of concluding points.
First, in deference to the Senate confirmation process, I have always maintained a respectful distance from agencies for which I have been nominated until confirmed. Thus you may find me deficient in specific knowledge or opinion on events and policies in which you are interested, a deficiency I expect to remedy with sufficient time at the Bank.
Second, you have my commitment to deal openly and straightforwardly with this Committee and Congress. I solicit your interest, your questions and your informed comment. And I will try my best to insure that, even where we disagree, we maintain a civil and constructive relationship.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I respectfully ask for your favorable consideration of my nomination and will be pleased to respond to your questions.
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