July 7, 2014

The Unseen Costs of the Export-Import Bank

Veronique de Rugy

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

We don’t agree on much in Washington. But given all of the economic and social problems our nation faces, everyone should agree that the federal government should not direct our limited public resources primarily to wealthy, politically connected corporations. This is what the Export-Import Bank does.

We don’t agree on much in Washington. But given all of the economic and social problems our nation faces, everyone should agree that the federal government should not direct our limited public resources primarily to wealthy, politically connected corporations. This is what the Export-Import Bank does.

Some say that there are good reasons to continue doing this. They say that the bank, known as the Ex-Im Bank, promotes U.S. exports, protects jobs and is a good deal for taxpayers. None of these arguments withstand scrutiny.

For instance, we have long known that export-subsidy schemes like Ex-Im do not meaningfully improve national exports. The data confirm this point: Ex-Im backs less than 2 percent of U.S. exports each year, mostly to the benefit of giant companies like Boeing and Caterpillar.

Continue reading