Remarks at the European Chiefs of Mission September Summit 2020 - Developments at the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Kimberly A. Reed, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States
September 23, 2020

Kimberly A. Reed
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Export-Import Bank of the United States



European Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg City, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

September 23, 2020

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Ambassador Evans, for hosting the European Chiefs of Mission September Summit 2020 (September Summit) and inviting me to share key insights on the recently reopened, reauthorized, and transformed Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM).  It is an immense honor to join you, a distinguished group of 16 U.S. Ambassadors to Europe, at the September Summit as for discussions on topics important to the United States, Europe, and the world-ranging from U.S.-European relations to COVID-19 economic recovery to space cooperation to EXIM. 

I would like to thank and recognize each of you, as you do so much to help the world buy our great "Made in the USA" goods and services.  Thank you-

(Listed in order of precedence, with the host, Ambassador Evans, noted first above and also listed last.)

  • Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Permanent Representative of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;
  • Ambassador George E. Glass, U.S. Ambassador to the Portuguese Republic
  • Ambassador Stephen B. King, U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic;
  • Ambassador Carla Sands, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark;
  • Ambassador Jamie D. McCourt, U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and Principality of Monaco;
  • Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See;
  • Ambassador Robert Kohorst, U.S. Ambassador to Croatia;
  • Ambassador Peter Hoekstra, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands;
  • Ambassador Richard Duke Buchan III, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and the Principality of Andorra;
  • Ambassador Ronald J. Gidwitz, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and Acting Representative of the United States to the European Union;
  • Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher, U.S. Ambassador to Poland
  • Ambassador Jeffrey Ross Gunter, U.S. Ambassador to Iceland;
  • Ambassador Lindy Blanchard, U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia; and
  • Ambassador Kenneth A. Howery, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden;
  • Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman, U.S. Ambassador to Romania; and
  • Ambassador J. Randolph Evans, U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Host Ambassador for the September Summit 2020.

And, I would like to recognize my Trump Administration interagency colleagues from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce, and NASA.  We work together as a unified team for our country. Greetings-

  • U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach;
  • Counselor to the U.S. Department of States T. Ulrich Brechbuhl; and
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration Acting Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations Mike Gold; and

U.S. Department of Commerce Director of the Office of Space Commerce Kevin O'Connell.

It also is an honor to meet with leaders of the from the Government of Luxembourg and the European Union.  Yesterday, Under Secretary Krach and I had a very productive meeting with Luxembourg Minster of Finance Pierre Gramegna and Luxembourg Export Credit Agency Chairman Arsene Jacoby.

As we gather in this beautiful building, the European Court of Justice of the European Union, for the September Summit, I wish at the outset to note that the United States suffered a great loss last week in the passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Many years before reaching the high court, Justice Ginsburg had begun devoting her legal career to ending the discrimination of women.  She practiced an unrivaled work ethic despite suffering devastating grief and many years of harrowing illness.  As a lawyer, and as a woman, I am grateful to her for inspiring thousands of American girls to aspire to the legal profession, and my prayers and condolences go out to Justice Ginsburg's family.  The mark she left on history can never be effaced.

I have known our host, Ambassador J. Randolph "Randy" Evans for 20 years.  Mr. Ambassador, you are an accomplished leader, as evidenced by your arranging this unprecedented September Summit to discuss with candor the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the United States, Luxembourg, Europe, and the world.

Ambassador Evans, you also have a vision that extends literally to the stars.  Our gathering coincides with the visit to Luxembourg of a United States Space Delegation led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mike Gold of NASA, and Kevin O'Connell, the Director of the Office of Space Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  We at EXIM also are focused on space, and I hosted a call with 180 space technology leaders and stakeholders on July 9 as part of our new "Program on China and Transformational Exports" that I will be discussing in a few minutes.

All roads may lead to Rome, but lately, when it comes to space flight, all trajectories seem to lead to Luxembourg City.

Sixteen U.S. Ambassadors to Europe are here.  The word "ambassador" dates back to medieval French and Italian words that meant "to send."  But "ambassador" is also associated with a word used during the Roman Empire-a word in the Gaulish language that means "servant."  Where we are right now, Kirchberg, hugs an important ancient Roman road that linked Rheims in France to Trier in Germany, a road that servants of the Roman military helped construct.

One of the reasons it is such an honor to be with all of you is that in addition to being sent to a foreign land by the United States government, as U.S. Ambassadors you are also the American people's servants.

You may not serve unto death, like the more than 5,000 American service members, who rest alongside General George S. Patton Jr. at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and who we paid our respect to this morning-but, on the other hand, sometimes ambassadors do give their lives, like Chris Stevens in Benghazi 12 years ago, or the six other U.S. Ambassadors who have been killed as they did their jobs serving the American people.

Patton made Luxembourg City his headquarters and his Third United States Army established the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, while contending with Nazi forces during the Battle of the Bulge in the final months of the war.  The bonds of friendship between America and Luxembourg are sealed with the blood that prevented totalitarianism from enslaving the whole of Europe.  As Ambassador Evans has eloquently put it, there is "a deep, indelible core between the two of us based on freedom and resisting conquering forces."

Those fighters and those diplomats died in the cause of freedom, and one of the greatest blessings of freedom is being able to live a productive life, earn a livelihood, and pursue happiness.  I love serving our nation as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EXIM because my job, and the jobs of the 514 others who work alongside me at EXIM, is to support good-paying American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.  We do this by filling the gaps when private lenders are unwilling or unable to finance an export, and equipping U.S. businesses with the financing tools they need to compete for global sales.

I would also like to recognize and thank U.S. Ambassador Peter Hoekstra today.  I stand before you as the first woman Chairman of EXIM because of President Trump.