Oct 172014

The Export-Import Bank of the United States is the official export credit agency of the United States.

A short history of presidential support for the Bank follows:

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) established the Export-Import Bank of Washington through Executive Order 6581 on February 2, 1934.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) on February 12, 1959 said, “[Ex-Im Bank’s] record of repaid loans and repayable loans, your infinitesimal portion of written-off loans is one that I can do nothing except to say congratulations to your Directors, the President, and to all of you.”
  • President John F. Kennedy (Democrat) on July 18, 1963 said, “…the Export-Import Bank has created a wholly new program of export financing which now provides U.S. business with credit facilities equal to any in the world.”
  • President Gerald Ford (Republican) on November 18, 1974 said, “In order for the United States to maintain its strong position in foreign markets, it is important that the Congress pass the Export-Import Bank bill and avoid attaching unnecessary encumbrances.”
  • President Ronald Reagan (Republican) on January 30, 1984 said, “Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation’s export sales.”
  • President Bill Clinton (Democrat) on May 6, 1993 said, “Export expansion obviously encourages our most advanced industries. I am committed to promoting these exports, and what’s where the Ex-Im Bank plays an important role.”
  • President George W. Bush (Republican) on June 14, 2002 said “I have today signed into law S. 1372, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2002. This legislation will ensure the continued effective operation of the Export-Import Bank, which helps advance U.S. trade policy, facilitate the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad, and create jobs here at home.””

In 2013, nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im Bank’s transactions — a record-high 3,413 — were for American small businesses.

To read more information, click on The Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Jim Puzzanghera in September 2014 in the Los Angeles Times reported the following:

  • About 60 other countries have similar agencies to the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. to assist the respective country’s companies sell their goods abroad.
  • The bank made a profit of $1.1 billion in 2013. The profit goes to the U.S. Treasury.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the extension of the bank’s charter.
  • The bank has had corruption allegations, i.e., SABA, Inc. defrauded the bank and paid a $3.5 million settlement.

To read the entire article, click on Export-Import Bank supporters relieved, worried by 9-month extension.

Doug Bandow in May 2014 in Forbes reported the following:

  • The bank returned $1.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury since 2008, however, the profit seems to be an “illusion.”
  • The bank’s real cost, considering opportunity cost, was $653 million in 1980.
  • The bank may shift employment from other sectors, instead of raising the overall employment level.
  • The bank supports 2% of the U.S.’s current exports.
  • “Two-thirds of the Bank’s loan guarantees last year backed Boeing sales to rivals of U.S. airlines. Delta blamed ExIm for having to halt its New York-Mumbai service after Air India expanded its flights using Bank-financed jets. Last year ExIm also subsidized an Australian iron mine in purchasing Caterpillar equipment, despite complaints from U.S. miners.”
  • “Boeing alone typically accounts for more than 40 percent of the Bank’s credit activities.”
  • Other corporations like General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical, Bechtel, John Deere, and Caterpillar also use the Bank.  “Veronique De Rugy of the Mercatus Center figured that the top ten recipients collect 75 percent of ExIm’s benefits.”

To read the entire article, click on Close the Export-Import Bank: Cut Federal Liabilities, Kill Corporate Welfare, Promote Free Trade.

Zachary Karabell In July 2014 in Slate reported the following:

  • Congress renewed the banks charter in 2012.
  • The “U.S. Export-Import Bank offered $27 billion in loan guarantees in 2013.”
  • Other countries, including China, Russia, and Brazil, provided a total of $175 billion that same year.
  • The Canadian government uses this model in its public-private partnerships.
  • The default rate is currently 0.237 percent, meaning 0.237% of the financing payments are overdue.

To read the entire article, click on Don’t Kill the Export-Import Bank.

Robert Samuelson in July 2014 in The Washington Post reported the following:

  • The Ex-Im Bank’s budget is $90 million dollars.  Therefore, out of the total federal budget of $3.5 trillion, the expense of the bank represents .00257% of the total U.S. budget.  (To see details of other U.S. government spending or compare the amount of money spent on the Ex-Im Bank versus other government agencies, click on Government Spending.)
  • The Bank has 400 employees.
  • “In 2013, the agency authorized $27.3 billion in direct loans, loan guarantees and credit insurance.”  Of that total, loan guarantees were $14.9 billion and direct loans were $6.9 billion.
  • “Since 2006, Ex-Im says its default rate has averaged less than 1 percent.”
  • Some examples of transactions in 2013 include: “a $155 million loan to Ghana for a hospital expansion supported by U.S. engineering and construction firms; a $1.1 billion loan guarantee to an Indonesian airline to buy Boeing jets; and a $694 million loan to an Australian company for U.S. mining and rail equipment from Caterpillar and General Electric.”
  • “In 2012, China’s credit subsidies alone exceeded Ex-Im’s by almost 50 percent.”

To read the entire article, click on The misleading debate on the Export-Import Bank.

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