July 22, 2014

Export-Import Bank Subsidies Benefit Very Few Exports and Export Jobs

Andrea O'Sullivan

Feature Writer
Summary

Subsidized firms undoubtedly enjoy their government privileges — but we must remember the other 98 percent of us who do not have friends down at the Export-Import Bank.

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Sabrina Eaton's July 16 article, "Boon or boondoggle? Congress to decide fate of Export-Import Bank," provides a fair description of the Export-Import Bank debate. However, some of the claims made by the Bank's defenders should be put into context so Ohioans know what's at stake.

Lobbyists at the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, who represent some of Ex-Im's largest corporate beneficiaries, claim Ex-Im supports more than $37 billion in U.S. exports and 200,000 jobs. In Ohio, they say the Bank supported $2 billion in exports since 2007.

That sounds impressive — until you compare this to non-subsidized exports and jobs. Ex-Im subsidies only benefited 1.8 percent of the total $2.3 trillion in U.S. exports and 1.6 percent of the total 11.3 million export-related jobs last year. Similarly, Ex-Im subsidies only benefited 0.73 percent of the $330 billion in total exports from Ohio since 2007.

In other words, over 98 percent of all U.S. exports and export jobs, and over 99 percent of Ohio exports, receive no subsidies from Ex-Im.

Subsidized firms undoubtedly enjoy their government privileges — but we must remember the other 98 percent of us who do not have friends down at the Export-Import Bank.