Clinton to attack Republicans over Ex-Im Bank in New Hampshire: aide

Reuters News
Posted: May 22, 2015 12:14 PM

By Jonathan Allen and David Lawder

MANCHESTER, N.H./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton on Friday will voice strong support for keeping the U.S. Export-Import Bank open and accuse conservative Republicans who want to close the export-promoting lender of destroying jobs, her campaign said.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, plans to discuss Ex-Im at a craft brewery in New Hampshire, where she will meet with small business owners.

The government export credit agency, which helps finance foreign purchases of U.S.-made products, has supported $417 million in New Hampshire exports since 2007, according to Ex-Im's website.

"Hillary Clinton will say it's wrong for Republicans to risk the up to 164,000 jobs that the bank supports rather than stand up to the Tea Party and talk radio," a Clinton campaign aide said.

Many conservative Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives, encouraged by conservative political groups, want to let Ex-Im's charter expire on June 30. They say the bank fosters "crony capitalism" by interfering in private business decisions and puts public funds at risk.

But large corporations such as General Electric Co and Boeing Co, two of the bank's biggest beneficiaries, say closure of Ex-Im will lead to the loss of billions of dollars in export deals to Chinese firms and other overseas competitors that enjoy aggressive financing support from their governments.

They say this would hurt a U.S. supply base that includes thousands of small businesses.

Clinton's support for Ex-Im puts her in sync with President Barack Obama, who is also pushing for renewal of the bank's charter, on a major trade issue.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)