The Washington Post

Fred, the Ex-Im Bank’s pickle pro

She told reporter Scott Pelley — see the video below starting at about the six-minute mark — that she had gone to a seminar in Charlotte, N.C. ,a couple years ago and listened to some guy named “Fred” talk about programs to help businesses export by insuring they will be paid.

And “when he got done speaking,” Fulton said, “I went running outside” to find who’d driven him to the event.

“And I said, ‘Who’s driving Fred?’ Guy said, ‘Me, Chris.’ And I said, ‘You’re my new best friend. Get him to eat these pickles before he gets on the plane because I want to export this year.”

And now, Fulton said, the pickles are in 40 stores in China — in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Shenzhen. The high-end pickles, soon to be in Mongolia and Canada, are in hundreds of stores in this country, too, including Dean & DeLuca in Georgetown.

Fred’s last name, though never mentioned on the broadcast, is Hochberg. He runs the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which is standing by to give Fulton credit insurance. (For now, she only takes cash.)

Hochberg says he tried some pickles and gave the rest to Chris, since he couldn’t take the jar on the plane.

There are not your run-of-the-mill pickles.

“They are very good pickles,” he said. “And as a New Yorker, I know my pickles.”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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