Small Biz Owner on Ex-Im Bank: "For Smaller Companies, It's Useless"

Jul 21, 2014

A recurring theme among Export-Import Bank supporters is that, at its heart, it's all about small business.

One Tallahassee small business owner was completely candid about his negative experience with the Export-Import Bank, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Ron Conroy of Verdicorp is more than happy to see the bank's authorization expire on Sept. 30.

Tallahassee-based Verdicorp, which makes heating and air conditioning systems, used the program once - to insure sales to a foreign buyer in case the purchaser defaulted. That didn't happen.
Verdicorp owner Ron Conroy says he has no plans to use the bank again because he said bank officials are more interested in helping larger companies.
"If you send them aircraft, they're very good. (But) anything less than $10 million, they don't want to (deal with) you. They say they do but they don't," he said. "For the country, it's worth having. But for smaller companies, it's useless."

The bank provides loans and loan guarantees as well as capital and credit insurance for U.S. exports. Diane Katz, a regulatory policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, explains "what constitutes a small business under the Ex-Im regime is not what most Americans would consider to be so" and "the bank harms many American small businesses and their workers by subsidizing their foreign competitors."

It's no surprise many businesses that have benefited from the bank's favorable treatment want Washington to keep it around -- especially big businesses like Boeing, Westinghouse, Caterpillar, Bechtel, and GE, that "reap the benefits of more than 80 percent of Ex-Im subsidies."

The bank should no longer exist and needs to end in September, at long last.