August 11, 2014

End the Ex-Im Bank?

Andrea O'Sullivan

Feature Writer
Summary

It is the Ex-Im itself that “hurts the U.S. economy and jeopardizes the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” Ninety-eight percent of North Carolina businesses should not matter less than the other 2 percent because they lack friends in Washington. It is high time to end Ex-Im corporatism.

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Margaret Harding’s July 23 Point of View, “ A good-for-business bank,” omits several important facts. Not only does the Export-Import Bank subsidize a negligible number of Tar Heel firms and workers, it does so at the expense of the vast majority of North Carolinians.

Here are the facts: From 2007 to 2014, North Carolina exported $115.6 billion in goods, $2.5 billion of which were supported by Ex-Im subsidies or less than 2.3 percent. Only 0.89 percent of North Carolina exports were managed by small businesses receiving Ex-Im assistance. Furthermore, Ex-Im does not earn profits for taxpayers.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently projected that Ex-Im will lose $2 billion over the next decade. Economists have long known that export credit subsidies boost profits for subsidized firms at the expense of everyone else. Unsubsidized firms, workers and consumers are placed at a competitive disadvantage by their own government.

It is the Ex-Im itself that “hurts the U.S. economy and jeopardizes the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” Ninety-eight percent of North Carolina businesses should not matter less than the other 2 percent because they lack friends in Washington. It is high time to end Ex-Im corporatism.