The Export-Import bank, Ex-Im as it is known, is a U.S. government agency that provides low-interest loans to exporters and guarantees to foreign buyers of American goods. It is able to do this with taxpayer dollars. It’s also a slush fund for subsidies that distort the market and pick winners and losers.
Various amendments have been put through under the new Speaker but none are being approved.
The GOP Establishment have done it again with one amendment in particular and essentially okayed Iran to get these subsidies for aircraft deals with US tax dollars.
We sure can pick winners.
Last week, an amendment that would have stopped Iran from getting these funds was rejected with the help of 63 GOPers.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the amendment amid concerns that President Barack Obama would issue waivers to state sponsors of terrorism that would allow them to receive taxpayer-backed subsidies from the government bank, the Daily Signal reported.
“I think we can all agree, Ex-Im supporters and opponents alike, that Iran should not be entitled to American taxpayer-financed aircraft deals,” Royce said.
State sponsors of terror, nations that engage in slavery and human trafficking, serious human rights violators will be able to get these loans if the president writes a waiver and he is capable of doing it. We already loan to monster-led nations.
An amendment by Florida Republican Curt Clawson would have blocked big companies like Boeing and GE from benefiting from what has become corporate welfare and would allow only small businesses to participate.
Boeing says their money trickles down to 6600 small businesses but they and the other large companies enjoying the subsidies admit they don’t need it.
Some say that there is not much money involved, but US taxpayers were on the hook for nearly $140 billion in the Ex-Im loan portfolio.
Little of Ex-Im’s money goes to small businesses. In 2013, 93 percent of the loan guarantees benefited five companies. Boeing was the beneficiary of about 20 percent of all commitments.
Ex-Im has given hundreds of millions of dollars in loan guarantees to state-owned Russian bank Vnesheconombank (VEB). VEB finances Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport which is the principal weapons supplier to Bashar al Assad in Syria as well as supplying advanced missile systems to Iran.
Between 1997 and 2014, companies in China, Venezuela and Pakistan received billions of dollars in Ex-Im’s taxpayer-backed assistance to the tune of $16 billion in subsidized financing since 2009.
We often reward foreign companies at the expense of American companies.
Between October 2007 and March 2014, there were 792 reported claims of fraud involving the Export-Import Bank and 124 investigations initiated by the bank’s Office of Inspector General. There have been 85 convictions for bribery, fraud, et al.
Export financing didn’t create new jobs, but merely redistributed jobs across America’s economy.
House Speaker Ryan of Wisconsin and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, oppose it. Ryan and Hensarling describe Ex-Im as an example of corporate welfare that mainly benefits large companies that don’t need government assistance.
The House and Senate have voted to revive the bank in separate bills. The Senate voted 64-29 in July to add the bank reauthorization to its long-term highway bill, H.R. 22. The House last week passed, 313-118, a stand-alone bill, H.R. 597, to revive the bank. Why shouldn’t they make it a stand alone, then they can be sure to get nothing in return for pushing this corporate boondoggle.
Principle should matter. The bank will be reauthorized in the next two weeks. The US stands for cronyism and corporate welfare while turning the blind eye towards bribery, fraud and human rights’ violators.
h/t Gary Spina