February 09, 2022

Brown: Reta Jo Lewis’ Confirmation Is a Win for American Manufacturing

Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, applauded Reta Jo Lewis’ confirmation as President of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank. Yesterday, he took to the Senate Floor in support of Lewis’ nomination. 

Lewis was confirmed today by a vote of 56-40.

Video of Senator Brown’s remarks can be found here

Brown’s remarks on the Senate floor, as prepared for delivery, are below: 

Mr./Madame President:

I urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting American manufacturing, and support the nomination of Reta Jo Lewis to be President of the Export-Import Bank.  

As President of EXIM and Chair of the Bank’s Board of Directors, Ms. Lewis will lead our nation’s official export credit agency as it supports U.S. workers and manufacturers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and throughout our country. EXIM’s job is to support our American businesses in the face of competition –  often unfair competition – from countries like China. 

Ms. Lewis is the leader we need in the fight to help U.S. manufacturers compete globally. She has more than 25 years of distinguished leadership experience in international affairs, law, and public policy. 

Ms. Lewis is also an historic nominee who would be the first Black woman to lead EXIM.

She currently serves as a Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund, where she leads bipartisan efforts to strengthen transatlantic cooperation.  

Before joining the German Marshall Fund, Ms. Lewis served in the Obama Administration as the State Department’s first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs.

Ms. Lewis will put American workers and exporters first. She understands that EXIM is vital to manufacturing jobs and our nation’s economic competitiveness.

There are more than 100 export credit agencies and credit programs around the world that support foreign manufacturers.

China’s export finance activity is larger than all of the export credit provided by the G7 countries combined. We know the Chinese government uses export credit as a weapon to win manufacturing business in critical sectors and undermine American companies and American workers. 

We must be in a better position to compete.

We’ve had so much good jobs news in Ohio over the last few weeks.

Intel. Hyperion. GE Aviation. Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs – good jobs – coming to our state.

That’s all made possible because we are putting American workers at the center of our economy.

And look at the results we’re getting – last year, for the first time in 20 years, our economy grew faster than China’s.

But we know that China and our other competitors are not going to give up. They’re constantly finding new ways to cheat, and new ways to undermine American jobs.

It’s why we need every tool possible to compete – including a fully-functioning Export-Import Bank, with an experienced, tenacious leader at the helm.

Jobs in Ohio and around the country depend on Ms. Lewis’s success. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting her.