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Obama decides to keep Hochberg at Export-Import Bank

President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg speaks during an interview with Reuters in Nigeria's capital Abuja October 19, 2011.
President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg speaks during an interview with Reuters in Nigeria's capital Abuja October 19, 2011.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Fred P. Hochberg, president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, to remain in his post, the White House said on Thursday.

Hochberg, who has led the export credit agency since May 2009, would have had to step down in July without Obama's fresh endorsement.

The Ex-Im Bank provides direct loans, loan guarantees and other types of financing to support U.S. exports. The bank's biggest client is Boeing, the leading U.S. exporter.

As part of Obama's economics and trade team, Hochberg has been an advocate for increasing U.S. trade opportunities abroad.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson whose panel has oversight of the Export Import Bank, welcomed the renomination.

"Under the direction of Fred Hochberg, the Ex-Im Bank has set new records in exporting U.S. goods and services and expanded our reach into new international markets," Johnson, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Hochberg, an openly gay member of the Obama administration, is a former president of Lillian Vernon Corp, a mail order company founded by his mother that he helped build into an international publicly traded direct marketing corporation.

During Hochberg's tenure, the Ex-Im Bank has provided record amounts of financing for U.S. exports, exceeding $35.7 billion in the 2012 budget year.

Hochberg is also a former deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration and was dean of Milano, the New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City from 2004 to 2008.

Hochberg has traveled the world in support of Obama's goal of doubling exports to $3 trillion by the end of 2014.

(Reporting by Patrick Ruckerd)

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