Stephen DeMaura

Somewhere in the long list of failed government programs, there still exists an agency that subsidizes some of America’s wealthiest corporations to the detriment of American employers. During a time when most Americans are cutting back financially, a federal agency known as the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) is providing monetary assistance to those that need it least.

For some time now, the Ex-Im Bank has been giving financial assistance in the form of loan guarantees to Fortune 500 companies that generate billions of dollars in profit each year. Most prominent is Boeing, which has received more than 8. 2 percent of Ex-Im’s total loan guarantees or roughly $12.2 billion in 2012. Boeing hardly needs the financial assistance seeing that this very same year the company generated more than $80 billion worth of revenue.

While this might not be enough to constitute government malpractice, it is also a fact that these loans are hurting American jobs and companies. In essence, the Ex-Im Bank enables foreign carriers to purchase Boeing aircraft at a discounted rate and with favorable terms. Thus, foreign airlines have lower fixed budgets and are thereby given a competitive advantage over their American counterparts, which have traditionally been prohibited from accessing such assistance. Some estimates calculate that the Bank has caused the U.S. airline industry to lose as many as 7,500 jobs.

Such collateral damage was never meant to be part of the Ex-Im Bank’s mission. In fact, the Export-Import Bank was originally established in 1934 to, ironically, promote American competitiveness. However, like many big-government programs as of late, the Ex-Im Bank is completely out of control. It now serves to enrich well-connected special interests at the expense of the rest of the country.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.