Allen West “This is violation of free enterprise, opportunity economics”

The Export-Import Bank charter will expire in a few days, on June 30, unless Congress acts to reauthorize it.


The Export-Import Bank charter will expire in a few days, on June 30, unless Congress acts to reauthorize it. The Export-Import Bank was created more than 80 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help foreign customers buy goods from the United States.

Some companies benefit from the Export-Import Bank and they are the first ones to defend its reauthorization. But let’s be clear: Companies benefit from Export-Import Bank loans at the expense of taxpayers and other businesses. Taxpayers—not the companies themselves—assume the risk of a foreign loan, made through a private bank (like Goldman Sachs), to purchase a company’s product. So while some companies benefit from selling more products to more foreign customers, the taxpayers are exposed to the risk if the loan goes bad.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Export-Import Bank artificially lowers costs for companies, giving them an advantage over their competitors and raising competition costs for companies that aren’t lucky enough to have subsidized support from the Export-Import Bank. Yes, the Export-Import Bank is a good deal for a few businesses, but at the expense of almost everyone else.

Congress should have closed the Export-Import Bank last year, but they temporarily reauthorized the charter until June 30 as part of a deal to avoid a government shutdown. Now that the pressure of a government shutdown has passed, Congress should do the right thing by letting the Export-Import Bank finally expire. Powerful supporters of the Export-Import Bank may try to make it difficult to oppose the reauthorization, possibly by adding it to another important bi-partisan piece legislation such as the transportation reauthorization or national defense bill. In any event, Congress can’t seem to approve the Export-Import Bank on its own merits, which underscores at least three reasons to close the Export-Import Bank:


Allen West with Varney and Co

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