Export-Import Bank: Starting Businesses in Ethiopia

Aug 22, 2012

Unlike President Obama, Heritage Action has consistently opposed the United States Export-Import Bank . Along with our allies in Congress, we will continue to make the case against the Ex-Im Bank, which is nothing more than corporate welfare that works like a Fannie Mae for exporters.

To buck it's corporate welfare reputation (one of the most damaging critiques of the Bank) the Bank's new office in Seattle is targeting small businesses.

NPR's Seattle affiliate, FM 88.5 KPIU, reports:

Mesh Tadesse owns a coffee shop in Seattle. Now he wants to start a business in his native country of Ethiopia to sell milk. But he needs to buy equipment, and the manufacturer he wants to buy from here in the U.S. wants a guarantee he can make the payments. So, he's turned to the Export-Import Bank of the United States. It's a federal agency that provides financing and insurance to make it easier for U.S. companies to export.

Taxpayers, who are on the hook for such loan guarantees, should take note of two things.

First, under the guise of increasing exports and at Mr. Tadesse's urging, you are essentially guaranteeing a startup milk distribution business in Ethiopia.

Second, with opposition to the Bank mounting and its reauthorization just a couple years away, the Bank's handlers are trying to increase its reach. The thinking goes that as more businesses become dependent on the Bank, Congress will be less inclined to terminate it.

It's typical Washington nonsense, and come 2014 when the Bank's charter expires we will put an end to it. In the meantime, though, we'll be watching every move made by the Bank and holding lawmakers accountable for their vote.

Related Links:
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization - House Vote Recap
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization - Senate Vote Recap
Issue Profile: The Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012