North Dakota aerospace manufacturing executive Kristin Hedger was invited to appear Wednesday at a U.S. Senate hearing for nominees to a federal bank board that helps to finance sales of American exports.
Hedger is vice president for business development at Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, which employs about 330 people at locations in Killdeer, Dickinson, Hettinger and Regent. KMM supplies circuit cards and other electronic components for the civilian and military aerospace industries.
The family-owned North Dakota company, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in business this year, is a top supplier to the Boeing Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of military and civilian aircraft. Hedger is a member of an aerospace industry advocacy group that includes Boeing and jet engine makers GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney.
Boeing executives asked Hedger to attend Wednesday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., at which the Senate Banking Committee will question nominees for the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
The bank now has only two members on its five-member board of directors. It needs the support of at least three board members to approve transactions worth more than $10 million. The bank provides loan guarantees and financial assistance to companies that sell U.S. goods abroad.
Hedger has been a vocal supporter of the bank and its need for a full slate of directors. She noted that the Export-Import Bank has helped North Dakota companies do $54 million worth of foreign trade from 2012 to 2016. Boeing has honored KMM for two consecutive years for its advocacy work.
“Our nation relies heavily on being competitive in our overall global marketplace, and part of that competitiveness comes from the ability to underwrite loans to developing nations,” Hedger said. “We create not only allies, but new markets.”
Hedger said the Export-Import Bank helps U.S. companies compete with overseas businesses that get help from export assistance agencies in their own countries. When Boeing makes use of the bank for overseas sales, KMM and other companies that are part of Boeing’s vast U.S. supply network also benefit, she said.