A look at the Export-Import bank

A generic photo of the Washinton, DC, building that houses the Export-Import Bank.

In Congress, there’s been a big, heated debate about a bank most people probably haven’t heard of: The Export-Import Bank of the United States, commonly called the Ex-Im.

The bank’s charter expires in September, and many conservative Republicans would like to kill it, while others are calling for reforms.

Conservatives say the Ex-Im bank is bloated, inefficient, comes at a high cost to the taxpayer and is really just a form of corporate welfare for big companies, including Boeing.

But Democrats and some Republicans say Ex-Im helps small businesses enter foreign markets, helping boost exports.

To help explain what the Ex-Im bank does and put it in context, we took a little field trip to a fabric whole seller in New York City who once did business with the bank. We also spoke with entrepreneur and investor Jan Boyer* in Washington, D.C.


*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story provided the misspelled the name of Jan Boyer. The text has been corrected.

 

About the author

Lizzie O'Leary is the new host of Marketplace Weekend.

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