Ex-Im’s deleterious transactions are not a recent development and have actually garnered significant attention in the past, which is why in 2012 Congress demanded reforms to the Ex-Im Bank. Members of Congress passed legislation that called on the Bank to analyze its economic impact on future transactions and avoid any loans that could negatively impact American jobs. Unfortunately, Hochberg has gone rogue, continuing to facilitate financial ventures that hurt American job growth and are anything but risk-adverse.
The new law also required that the Treasury Secretary begin to wind down American subsidies to foreign carriers, but both former Secretary Geithner and current Secretary Lew have ignored the law and this requirement.
Despite these revelations, the U.S. Senate recently approved Fred Hochberg’s nomination to serve a second term as president of the Export-Import Bank. The Senate’s approval of Hochberg is tantamount to the endorsement of his market distorting and job-killing policies. Congress’s confirmation of Hochberg means that Ex-Im will unfailingly continue to operate in a manner that is detrimental to the American people unless something changes.
In order to prevent the Ex-Im Bank from further eroding the free market and hurting American employers, it is critical that Congress pass Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Congressman Justin Amash’s (R-Mich.) legislation to phase-out the Export-Import Bank. It is vital that the United States support exports, but it is more important that we do not allow the government to create an unequal playing field by intruding into the free market, leaving taxpayers on the hook much like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did years ago as the housing bubble popped. Congress should enact the Lee-Amash legislation, so that we can finally bring an end to an institution that inserts government into an area where the private sector could be engaged while exposing American taxpayers and hurting our employers.
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