Ex-Im Bank Wants to Back Loans for Chinese Renewable Energy with Our Taxpayer Dollars
Fred P. Hochberg, the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., who is currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate of his nomination for a second term, recently sent out the following Tweet:
— Fred P. Hochberg (@fredhochberg) July 11, 2013
It comes as a mild surprise that Hochberg would see this as an opportunity for the Ex-Im Bank. After all, we have been told time and time again that China is leading the way when it comes to renewable energy. If they have been so successful and implementing the green energy agenda, why would the Ex-Im Bank need to backstop loans for even more renewable infrastructure?
Well, it turns out green energy isn’t all it has cracked up to be. Don’t tell that to Hochberg, though. The Ex-Im Bank has already pushed the environmentalist agenda in other countries from Barbados to Spain. The Ex-Im Bank uses taxpayer money to backstop politically favored projects, which “just greases the wheels of the powerful and often corrupt big Washington Establishment.”
The Ex-Im Bank website proudly states that advancing the Left’s environmentalist agenda is part of their mission:
Promoting clean-energy technology from American exporters is an important priority at Ex-Im Bank. The Bank’s focus on renewable-energy support assists U.S. exporters in protecting the environment while promoting and sustaining American jobs.
Again, if the technologies they are exporting are so great, why do they need to be funded by taxpayer guaranteed loans?
The Export-Import Bank inappropriately risks taxpayer money – it is like a Fannie Mae for exporters – especially when it is used to advance a political agenda like stopping global warming. Using taxpayer money as a backstop for loans to companies that could not otherwise receive them is an affront to the free market and a reckless risk the federal government forces upon taxpayers.
The Ex-Im Bank really has no place in a free market economy. Ironically, the Bank recently retweeted the Treasury Department, which shared the transcript of Jack Lew’s remarks during the U.S. China Strategic and Economic Dialogue:
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) July 10, 2013
And what did Lew have to say? He praised China for their market-oriented reforms and private sector innovation:
In China, your economy is undergoing a systemic transition where significant and fundamental shifts in policy will be required to sustain growth in the future. We welcome the market-oriented reform commitments you have made. These reforms recognize the imperative of shifting to domestic consumption, greater private sector innovation, an economy that is more open to competition with more flexible prices – including the exchange rate and interest rates, and a more efficient financial system.
Thus, he is touting market-oriented reforms while being openly supported by an institution, the Ex-Im Bank, that by its very nature undermines the free market. And Lew’s speech wouldn’t have been complete without a “climate change” pitch. He called on the U.S. and China to overcome their differences “to address our common challenges such as climate change, energy and food security, and conduct in cyberspace.”
Of course the Ex-Im Bank views these remarks opportunistically. The folks running Bank want to be involved in the lucrative U.S.-China relationship, in terms of so-called renewable energy and environmental technology as well as agricultural technology. They recently struck a $55.6 million deal on aircraft and agricultural machinery:
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today a pair of comprehensive guarantees of two HSBC loans totaling $55.6 million to support the export of American aircraft and agricultural machinery to China.
Remember, these loans are all guaranteed by American taxpayers dollars. And the Ex-Im Bank is just itching to throw our money behind loans for “renewable energy” products. Seeing how poorly things have gone for federally funded green energy companies in the U.S., using taxpayer money to back loans for the same technologies in China will be a massive and irresponsible gamble.