Chairman D'Amato, Senator Sarbanes, and Members of the Committee: It is a distinct honor to appear before you today to testify on my nomination by the President to be Vice-Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). It is also a great pleasure to share this forum with such a distinguished and qualified nominee as Chairman- Designate James Hannon.
It is with pride that I return to the place where my career started. When I came to Washington fourteen years ago, one of the first issues I worked on as a Senate staff member was the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. I would not have predicted that, one day, I would be sitting before this Committee being considered for a position in that same institution. I could not be here without the help of so many of you including your staff. I am grateful to President Clinton for giving me this opportunity and am excited by the challenge to serve as the Vice Chair of Ex-Im Bank, should the Senate confirm my nomination.
During my years of employment in the Senate, I worked directly on three separate reauthorizations of the Export-Import Bank, the Export Administration Act, the Export Enhancement Act, and the Fair Trade in Financial Services Act. This legislative experience in the Senate proved invaluable when I joined Ex-Im Bank four years ago. At Ex-Im Bank, I have served as Special Assistant to the Chairman, Chief of Staff and Vice President for Congressional and External Affairs. This practical, hands-on experience in export finance has deepened my appreciation of the importance of exports and our trading opportunities abroad. Simply put, more U.S. products and services sold overseas mean more jobs and economic growth at home. Global competition in intemational trade is growing more intense every year. The challenges will be great, but I am confident we can prevail.
I look forward, if confirmed, to working with Mr. Harmon, much as I worked with Mr. Brody, to broaden the constituency of the Bank. Over the past four years, the Bank has reached out to thousands of new businesses, developed a new program to promote the export of envirom-nental technologies and greatly expanded its marketing around the nation. Since the last reauthorization, Ex-Im Bank directly made a difference for U.S. workers in over 2,000 communities across the U.S. by approving more than 10,000 transactions which resulted in the export of $75 billion in U.S. goods and services.
I want to share with you some examples of the fine work being done at Ex-Im Bank to help small business create and sustain good, high paying jobs. In Modesto, California, Pacesetter Industries, a small business, recently sold housing components to Papua New Guinea. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Scandura, another small business, increased its work force when it expanded sales by exporting conveyor belts to Argentina. Finally, in Cockeysville, Maryland, Ward Machinery, yet another small business, fought against Swiss, French and Italian competition to sell their corrugated packaging machinery to India.
Tied Aid is another area where we have seen great success in the past few years. At the urging of Congress, the Bank established a Tied Aid Capital Projects Fund to match predatory trade practices of some of our foreign competitors and help American companies compete on a level playing field. By having the power to match foreign tied aid offers, Ex-Im Bank has reduced the number of such offers around the world, and I strongly support the continuation of this program.
Mr. Chairman, this effort would not be successful, if not for the dedication, loyalty and hard work of the 430 employees of Ex-Im Bank. They are the ones who work each day to keep American workers competitive, leveling the playing field and fighting unfair foreign competition.
There are new challenges the Bank will face, in particular the ever growing demand for the Bank's services on an ever tighter budget. If confirmed, I will work closely with Chairman designate, Mr. Harmon, to expand on the successes of the Bank that he has mentioned -- continuing the growth of the Bank's service to small businesses, expanding the outreach to new customers through Delegated Lending Authority to local lending institutions and partnerships with state, local, and private organizations -- and I plan on doing even more in the months to come. I look forward to developing new ways to expand the project finance program that is proving to be the Bank's most innovative and cost effective method to help American companies win contracts for important infrastructure projects in the emerging markets.
In closing, I want to reiterate what a tremendous honor it is for me to be here today. If confirmed, I pledge to ensure that Congress and Ex-Im Bank maintain the spirit of cooperation that they have enjoyed for much of their history. Finally, I will fight to fulfill Ex-Im Bank's mission -- to create and sustain high paying American jobs.
I would be happy to answer your questions.
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