July 27, 2014

Export-Import Bank Benefits Big Businesses, Not Small Ones

Andrea O'Sullivan

Feature Writer
Summary

It is simply not true that “the St. Louis metropolitan area benefits greatly” from the Ex-Im Bank. In fact, Ex-Im contributed to less than 0.63 percent of St. Louis-area exports from 2007 to 2014. The bank benefited roughly 1.5 percent of all Missouri exports and 1.38 percent of all Illinois exports at the same time.

Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

Stanford L. Levin’s commentary, “The Export-Import Bank is good for business” (July 18), would be more accurately titled “The Export-Import Bank is good for businesses with friends with Washington.”

It is simply not true that “the St. Louis metropolitan area benefits greatly” from the Ex-Im Bank. In fact, Ex-Im contributed to less than 0.63 percent of St. Louis-area exports from 2007 to 2014. The bank benefited roughly 1.5 percent of all Missouri exports and 1.38 percent of all Illinois exports at the same time.

It is also incorrect to claim that Ex-Im helps small business. The bank’s records suggest that less than 0.4 percent of small-business jobs and less than 0.03 percent of small businesses benefit from its subsidies. The business of Ex-Im is clearly big business.

By subsidizing their competitors, Ex-Im places the over 99 percent of unsubsidized St. Louis exporters and over 98 percent of unsubsidized Missouri and Illinois exporters at a competitive disadvantage.

These businesses should not matter less than recipients of Ex-Im privileges just because they do not have friends in Washington. It is high time to end Ex-Im corporatism.