With less than 70 days before the Export-Import Bank’s charter expires, a coalition of groups has formed in opposition to the agency’s reauthorization.
More than 50 organizations joined forces to urge Congress to allow the Export-Import Bank’s charter to expire. The groups sent a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill explaining how the bank “unfairly hurts domestic companies and risks billions of taxpayer dollars.”
“America deserves an international trade policy that is based on free-market mechanisms, not paying foreign companies to buy exports from large corporations with political connections,” the letter said.
Leaders with Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Action for America, the National Taxpayers Union and FreedomWorks, among others, signed the letter.
Together, the groups argued the Export-Import Bank creates an uneven playing field for small businesses and gives large, politically-connected corporations an unfair advantage. In their letter, the organizations’ leaders also argued the agency will cost taxpayers more than $2 billion over the next 10 years—refuting Ex-Im officials’ often-repeated claim that the bank functions at no cost to taxpayers.
“This discrepancy is because the bank does not use fair-value accounting, a method widely used by private finance organizations,” the participating organizations’ leaders argued. “These risky loans and poor accounting practices are harmful to taxpayers, who are left footing the bill.”
Ex-Im provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. products. The bank’s charter expires June 30, and policy makers are currently debating whether to reauthorize Ex-Im.
House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas is leading the charge against reauthorizing the agency. He, along with opponents including Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, believes Ex-Im serves as an engine of corporate welfare and cronyism.
However, President Obama and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are among the ranks of Ex-Im’s supporters. Those in favor of reauthorizing the agency argue it creates jobs in the U.S. and helps small businesses compete in the global market.