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Sample of a digital targeted ad that will run in South Carolina Wednesday. Provided to Axios by National Association of Manufacturers

A powerful industry body representing manufacturers is homing in on South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott to crush the confirmation of Scott Garrett — President Trump's nominee to run the Export-Import Bank.

Jay Timmons, who leads the National Association of Manufacturers, told me that his group will launch targeted digital ads Wednesday in South Carolina urging Scott's constituents to call his office and persuade him to pull support from Garrett. The ads are timed to coincide with Garrett's confirmation hearing with the Senate Banking Committee. He faces a razor-tight vote and the White House is watching nervously. Scott is one of the senators who's considering opposing him.

Why this matters: There's been a major ideological fight inside the administration, in the business community, and on Capitol Hill over Garrett's appointment. When he served in Congress, Garrett fought aggressively against the government-backed bank which provides financing to help American businesses compete overseas.

Major corporations like Boeing, who are benefited by Ex-Im, view Garrett as totally unacceptable to run an institution they say they rely on to compete globally.

Conservatives say Garrett is just the man they need to curb the excesses of a bank they consider the worst example of "crony capitalism."

Between the lines: Timmons is one of the most powerful industry leaders in America; he's helping the White House with tax reform and he can leverage the manufacturing angle to appeal to Trump's populist instincts. Timmons told me he doesn't believe — based on Garrett's record in Congress — his attempts to "cast a different image" that he'd be a "reformer" rather than a "destroyer" of the institution.

White House officials have a blunt retort to that argument. They say, 'sure, Garrett tried to shut down the bank but now he'll be working for a president who's ordered him to make it operational.' They also say they needed to nominate a conservative to ensure the votes of hardline senators like Alabama's Richard Shelby.

Timmons is confident Garrett has yet to lock down the votes he needs to get confirmed. And White House officials are privately anxious about where this is heading.

Go deeper

4 mins ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.