Ex-Im Bank Strikes Again… and Again… and Again
How would you like the taxpayer-backed United States Export-Import Bank to provide direct loans for the export of PV modules to Barbados-based Williams Industries-Williams Evergreen at the cost of $6.4 million, the export of a Lockheed Martin satellite to the government of Vietnam at the cost of $118 million, and the export of goods and services for the construction of an AQUARIUM to the Brazilian state of Ceara for the one low cost of $105 million?
Your wish is the Ex-Im Bank’s command!
As usual, supporters of the Ex-Im Bank say that loans of this kind will “support” American jobs and “level the playing field” with other foreign competition. A real level playing field would be to allow all companies, domestic and foreign, to compete for consumers’ support based on the quality of the product they have to offer, not based on the fact that they happened to receive a loan to bolster their business.
Heritage has noted:
“The Export-Import Bank, which provides taxpayer-subsidized loans to U.S. exporters, has faced criticism for distorting the market and engaging in crony capitalism. It was recently reauthorized by President Obama and Congress despite strong objections from conservatives.”
The essential problem is that the Export-Import Bank engages in corporate welfare for politically favored projects. And attempting to pick winners inevitably means there will be losers; and to be clear, there have been projects that have failed. Much like Fannie Mae, as the Bank grows so too does the risk that taxpayers will be left on the hook.
When bipartisan lawmakers reauthorized the Ex-Im Bank’s charter and increased its $140 billion statutory cap, they supported something even then-candidate Obama called “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”