The Bank has been often been referred to as a reverse Robin Hood, distributing wealth to large companies that use their influence and lobbyists to secure favorable financial packages. This practice is not only unfair, but it is also a danger to our free market economy. The Bank effectively gives the U.S. government the power to intrude into free markets and unilaterally provide companies with monetary advantages over their competitors. This aids bad companies, such as Enron, and Solyndra, and often has damaging unintended consequences on healthy American employers.
Take, for example, Boeing, which receives the lion’s share of Ex-Im’s loans. This successful American company has been the benefactor of much of Ex-Im’s largesse, sometimes receiving more than $12 billion a year. And while this is fantastic for Boeing and its shareholders, these loans wreak havoc on the entire American airline industry and its workers.
Due to its charter, the Export-Import Bank has traditionally only financed deals that allow foreign companies to purchase goods from American manufacturers, in an effort to promote trade with entities outside the United States. This has excluded American carriers from receiving the same low-interest loans and favorable terms that are often given to their foreign competitors by the Ex-Im Bank. This puts the entire American airline industry at a relative disadvantage, and over the long-term, foreign airlines save millions, while American carriers are left in the dark. This disadvantage has caused the American airline industry to reportedly lose as many as 7,500 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue.
Given that Ex-Im is having a disastrous impact on American economic growth, in addition to a track record of assisting failed companies such as Abound Solar, Congress should scrap its charter altogether.
There aren’t many issues that Democrats and Republicans agree on, so let’s move forward with the one that they do agree on, shutting down the Ex-Im Bank.