April 29, 2015

Top Ten Foreign State-Owned Beneficiaries of Ex-Im Subsidies

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

This week’s chart shows the top ten state-owned foreign buyers of domestic exports financed by the US Export-Import Bank, based on the total amount of financing from FY 2007 to FY 2013.  

As former deputy national security adviser, Mark Pfeifle, noted in in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, the Ex-Im Bank “has a long history of assisting international firms that raise serious red flags.” He singles out the Mexican state-owned petroleum giant, Pemex, which tops the list with $7.2 billion worth of US exports financed with backing from American taxpayers:

Consider Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, which conceded in 2013 that it deals with “serious” levels of corruption and that it has been plagued by “interference from organized crime”—including roughly $1 billion in stolen oil over a two-year span. That hasn’t stopped it from becoming the Ex-Im Bank’s single largest debtor, owing American taxpayers some $5.6 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2014.

The Ex-Im Bank’s defenders argue that the federal agency is conducive to national security. That’s the same argument its founders made when it was created in 1934 to facilitate, in part, trade with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is long gone (without Ex-Im playing a role in its demise), and yet the bank continues to put American taxpayers on the hook for deals with state-owned foreign enterprises with dubious backgrounds. It is past time for the authorization of the Ex-Im Bank to expire.