U.S. industrial giants like Boeing (BA), General Electric (GE) and Caterpillar (CAT) just got their wish, with a quorum re-established at the Export-Import Bank.
The Senate confirmed Kimberly Reed as president of the bank and two other Trump administration appointees to the board.
The Export-Import Bank, which critics have called “The Bank of Boeing,” can now approve loans again that are greater than $10 million, helping big U.S. companies compete overseas.
The lender was closed for six months after its charter expired on June 30, 2015, before opening back up with limited lending authority.
But now, Congress must reauthorize the bank for another five years before Sept. 30 or the Ex-Im Bank could be shuttered again.
Export-Import Bank Or ‘Bank of Boeing’?
Boeing shares rose 0.7% to close at 359.75 on the stock market today. GE added 0.5%, Caterpillar fell 1.3%, and Boeing archrival Airbus‘ (EADSY) U.S.-listed shares climbed 1.6%.
In the past the Export-Import Bank has helped Boeing sell its 787 Dreamliners to India, Poland and Ethiopia, and GE sell its trains to Pakistan. Caterpillar also relies on the bank to sell its heavy equipment overseas.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics voiced its support for the Senate confirmations.
“Since the Ex-Im Bank was reauthorized in December 2015, its board has been absent a quorum and unable to approve loans in excess of $10 million, placing U.S. aerospace companies at a tremendous disadvantage when competing in the global market,” Executive Director Dan Dumbacher said in a statement.
But opponents, which include former Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO Richard Anderson, say that Export-Import Bank uses U.S. taxpayer dollars to help subsidize orders to wealthy companies, like Dubai’s Emirates airline.
U.S. airlines have said that practice allows rival carriers to expand their fleets and compete against them at a lower cost.
Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter @IBD_GRich for investment news and more.
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