Last week, Tim Carney published a piece in the Washington Examiner arguing the best candidates to run federal agencies are those who fundamentally oppose their mission. While I agree that a degree of skepticism can be healthy when it comes to the federal government, Scott Garrett's clear record of attempts to put the U.S. Export-Import Bank "out of business" numerous times should disqualify him as a candidate to run that agency that is vital to manufacturing workers.
Carney's criticism of Ex-Im hinges on the same talking points opponents have lobbed at the bank for years. Contrary to Carney's blog post, the Export-Import Bank supports more than 1.4 million jobs nationwide, including 11,050 in my home state of Virginia. A fully-functioning Ex-Im generates billions of dollars in net revenues for the federal government, as the bank has a rigorous application process that has led to a default rate that is far below the national average of 0.31 percent. Ex-Im also supports smaller-sized manufacturers that provide great jobs throughout Virginia — as more than 90 percent of the deals the bank finances nationally are with small businesses, who would otherwise lose out on the ability to compete globally.
An Export-Import Bank with Scott Garrett at the helm would not deliver the same results for American workers. Garrett spent his career in Congress trying to shutter the agency, and doesn't believe in its mission as a job creator for workers. Luckily, there is still time for the Senate to reject his nomination and install another leader who will ensure the agency is fully functional. The millions of workers and thousands of businesses who rely on Ex-Im are counting on it.
George Allen, a Republican, was formerly governor of Virginia and U.S. Senator. Allen is chairman of the National Association of Manufacturer's Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative.
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.