Ex-Im Bank, to reauthorize or not to reauthorize

Jun 30, 2015
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Ex-Im Bank, to reauthorize or not to reauthorize

Jun 30, 2015
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The controversial Export-Import Bank’s authorization will expire at the stroke of midnight Wednesday, meaning the government institution that finances exports made by American companies, among other things, can follow through on its existing loans and guarantees, but can’t fund new ones.

The bank has long been targeted by some Republicans who don’t believe the government should be involved in this market and that the bank only benefits large corporations.

Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, says the bank amounts to corporate welfare and sees opportunity in Wednesday’s expiration.

“It’s one thing to reauthorize it,” he says, noting the bank has been reauthorized numerous times during its eight-decade existence. “It’s another thing to restart it once it’s already expired.”

Supporters of the Ex-Im Bank, meanwhile, argue it fills a gap in the private lending market for companies of all sizes and that the uncertainty leading up to Wednesday’s expiration has already hurt American businesses.

“Symbolically, [the expiration] is hugely important,” says Edward Alden, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. “I do think contracts will be lost, though it’s hard to put a clear number on it.”

“The winner here is China and other countries that are going full steam ahead with their own export credit agencies and taking advantage of the opportunity to see Ex-Im lapse,” says Miriam Sapiro, principal at the consulting firm Summit Strategies and a former deputy U.S. trade representative.

Sapiro’s hoping Congress will reauthorize the bank when it’s back in session in July.

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