Monday, July 13, 2015

POLICY - Our Export-Import Bank

"Should Congress revive the Export-Import Bank?" PBS NewsHour 7/8/2015


SUMMARY:  Last week, the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s authority to conduct new business expired.  Congress is debating whether the government agency, which helps foreign companies buy American goods, should continue to exist.  Is it a government giveaway, or a critical competitive tool for American business?  Judy Woodruff gets one view from Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  From financial problems abroad to a big money debate in this country.

Last week, the United States’ Export-Import Bank hit a political wall.  Its authority to conduct new business expired, as Congress hotly debates whether it should exist.  The bank is a multibillion-dollar government agency that helps foreign companies buy American goods.

Here’s how that works.  An American company wants to sell goods to a foreign corporation.  The Export-Import Bank then gives the foreign company a loan or loan guarantee, and that company buys the goods from the American business.  Ideally, the loan gets repaid, but there is a risk to taxpayers that the foreign company could default.

Who exactly benefits?  Well, last year, the bank financed nearly $30 billion worth of U.S. exports.  The single largest winner?  Boeing and the aircraft industry.  Thousands of small businesses also gained with more than $10 billion in financing.  But the 81-year-old bank faces an uncertain future.

Some conservatives argue that it is a bloated government giveaway, while others insist it is a critical competitive tool for American business.

Joining me now to discuss all this from Capitol Hill are two members of Congress, Democrat Brad Sherman of California, and we hope to be joined shortly by Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio.

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