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Nomination hearing to be held for Reta Lewis to lead Export-Import Bank

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Nomination hearing to be held for Reta Lewis to lead Export-Import Bank

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Photo: David Tulis/AP

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will today hold a nomination hearing for Reta Jo Lewis to lead the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM).

The US Export-Import Bank is an export credit institution designed to bolster US exports with government aid. EXIM was given a seven-year extension by the Trump administration in 2019, and is seen as a central pillar for President Biden’s “build back better” agenda.

Lewis’ nomination is a result of her Obama-era State Department role as Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs. Biden likely selected Lewis for her background in strategic relationship building between US state and local leaders with their foreign counterparts.

Thanks to bipartisan support, expect Lewis’ nomination to succeed. EXIM’s current mandate will double US commitments to global climate finance by 2024, and will provide a counter to Chinese Belt and Road financing and the political capital those dollars provide Beijing. Already, a Trump-era $5 billion commitment to French oil company Total SA for construction of a natural gas facility in Mozambique has replaced Beijing’s position in the capital stack; subsequently Biden sees further EXIM financing as one of the best tools to rein in increasing Chinese global influence.

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