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house Bill H.R. 1910

Should the Export-Import Bank be Shut Down in 3 Years?

Argument in favor

The Export-Import Bank is nothing more than taxpayer-backed corporate welfare. Export subsidies — like those provided by the Ex-Im Bank — don’t create jobs, and only fuel an international subsidy bidding war.

Allan's Opinion
···
11/09/2019
It is a good idea that has been taken over for the benefit of large corps. A version of it should continue to exist but restrict it for good investments to help small and medium size companies that will return the funds loaned along with a profit to the organization
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JTJ's Opinion
···
11/09/2019
This is not an appropriate function of government, and an abuse of taxpayers. Businesses that can not survive without government intervention deserve to fail.
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Brian's Opinion
···
05/08/2019
The Export-Import Bank is nothing more than taxpayer-backed corporate welfare. Export subsidies — like those provided by the Ex-Im Bank — don’t create jobs, and only fuel an international subsidy bidding war.
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Argument opposed

With many of our economic competitors subsidizing their exports, failing to follow suit through the Ex-Im Bank would cost the U.S. jobs and hit small businesses the hardest. In uncertain economic times, those are consequences we can’t afford.

jimK's Opinion
···
11/09/2019
I am a little torn on this issue. Yes, the EXIM bank tends to be more supportive of established and profitable corporations. Yes, the EXIM bank should operate independently from political influence. Yes, their should be more support for new businesses needed to establish foreign markets. While all of these ‘negatives’ are true, there are also some ‘positives’. From prior stats, the EXIM bank underwritten loans, have resulted in net positive returns to our treasury- with some losses some years, but overall net positive returns of 10’s of billions to the treasury (it may be much more or somewhat less, I can’t recall the specific numbers). Building foreign markets for products that require large capital investments over a long period of time carry risks that banks would rather not undertake and large fluctuations in capital reserves are something that publicly traded companies are often unwilling to take on, since it effects stock valuations and investor returns, particularly for the larger companies which tend to be predominately featured parts of 401K mutual fund packages. These companies are faced with international competitors that are directly supported by their governments to cover these risks and this puts our companies at a great competitive disadvantage without the EXIM bank- which is bad for our economy. The EXIM bank helps to level the playing field. I support the EXIM bank’s role for these long term capital investment driven products, which have historically resulted in long term returns to our county’s treasury. I do believe that some re-thinking of the EXIM bank’s charter is warranted to assure it’s independence from undue politicization and to expand it’s role in judiciously supporting new companies expansion into foreign markets. I do not support eliminating the EXIM bank without a detailed study of the longer-term consequences of so doing- which to me seem to be negative at this time.
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Phillip's Opinion
···
11/09/2019
It would seem that part of the bank is working as advertised in that it is assisting small businesses. However it certainly has become a large corporation piggy bank at the same time. Perhaps revamping the operations of the bank to stop corporations over a certain market capitalization from accessing it would be more appropriate
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Just.Dave's Opinion
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11/09/2019
Small business is the backbone of this nation... Things are going well in the economy today, but that can change quickly, and if we kick the chair out from under small businesses then you risk turning a future recession into a great depression.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedMarch 27th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1910?

This bill would abolish the Export-Import Bank in three years, and reduce the authorities of the Bank in the interim period. The Export-Import Bank was reauthorized in December 2015 through September 30, 2019.

Established in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Export-Import Bank, is self-described on its website as: 

"The official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent, self-sustaining Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services ... When private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing, EXIM fills in the gap for American businesses by equipping them with the financing tools necessary to compete for global sales."

Basically, the bank guarantees loans for customers abroad buying U.S.-made goods who otherwise would not take the commercial or political risks.

This bill would keep the Export-Import Bank from accepting new applications 30 days after it passes. One year in, the bank could no longer renew or enter into contracts. At the end of three years, the Bank’s remaining functions would be transferred to the Department of the Treasury — which at that point would be limited to loan repayment and oversight. The Export-Import Bank’s Office of the Inspector General would be abolished along with the Bank, and the Department of the Treasury would also take over ongoing audits, investigations, inspections, and reports.

The Secretary of the Treasury would be responsible for winding down the Bank’s operations, and have the authority to delegate tasks, transfer assets and personnel, enter into contracts, and employ experts to aid in those activities. Once all of the Bank’s obligations expire, the Treasury’s authorities would expire as well, and the Secretary would notify Congress.

Assets and funds that are currently available to the Bank could continue to be used for the three years, and existing savings provisions would be in effect until the Bank is finally terminated.

Impact

Domestic and international companies that do business with the Export-Import Bank; the Export-Import Bank and its employees; the Department of the Treasury; Congress; and the Secretary of the Treasury.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1910

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) introduced this bill to eliminate the Export-Import Bank

“The Export-Import Bank is a prime example of Washington’s addiction to political cronyism. Instead of allowing businesses to compete in a free market, politicians pick winners and losers. Meanwhile, taxpayers assume the financial risk for the bank’s federally backed loans while a few corporations pocket the profits.”

FreedomWorks supports this bill. Its president, Adam Brandon, writes

"[T]he Export-Import Bank Termination Act would abolish the Export-Import Bank, a relic of the New Deal and cesspool of cronyism. In a 1981 speech to a joint session of Congress, President Ronald Reagan noted that most of the recipients of funding from the Export-Import Bank were 'profitable corporations.' Unfortunately, not much has changed in the nearly 40 years since President Reagan gave that speech. The Export-Import Bank has earned the nickname 'Boeing’s Bank.' In FY 2014, for example, 68 percent of Ex-Im’s long-term loan guarantees and 40 percent of its authorizations went to Boeing. General Electric and Caterpillar were also among the top five of Ex-Im’s beneficiaries. While Ex-Im benefits these prominent American corporations, it does so at the expense of other American firms. By subsidizing exported products such as airliners, taxes on American-based airlines are used to subsidize their foreign competitors... The Export-Import Bank may be good for politically-connected businesses and K Street lobbyists, but it picks winners and losers in the marketplace at the expense of taxpayers. It’s time to send this relic of the New Deal to the grave."

The Export-Import Bank (or Ex-Im Bank) has been criticized as "corporate welfare"  because several of the companies benefitting from its existence are among the largest corporations in the U.S. About 40 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s 2014 authorizations benefited Boeing alone, and nearly two-thirds of the Bank’s 2013 money went to 10 U.S. companies, including General Electric, Caterpillar, and Ford along with Boeing. Of the $2.3 trillion that the U.S. exported in 2013, the Ex-Im Bank only approved $27.3 billion of loan guarantees — amounting to about 1.2 percent of the value of that year’s exports.

Proponents of the Ex-Im Bank point out that nearly 90 percent of the Bank’s total transactions involved small businesses, and in 2014 those transactions were valued at about $5 billion, making up around 20 percent of the total value of the Bank’s activity that year. It has also been noted by the Bank’s supporters that these activities supported over 160,000 U.S. jobs in 2014.

In 2015, John Murphy, vice president for international policy at the US Chamber of Commerce, explained that the Ex-Im Bank is particularly important for certain types of businesses

"Particularly for expensive, long-lived capital goods such as aircraft, nuclear reactors, locomotives and earth-moving equipment, U.S. companies are bidding in competition with foreign companies that are backed by very generously funded export credit agencies of their own. Bids from all tenders must come with official export-import credit agency backing, which Ex-Im uniquely provides in the United States. So the bottom line in those cases is that without Ex-Im, U.S. companies aren't even able to bid."

This legislation has the support of nine Republican cosponsors in the House.


Of Note: In addition to doubts about the Ex-Im Bank’s benefits, it has been maligned for its cost — its price tag was estimated at $2 billion between 2015 and 2024 by the Congressional Budget Office.

Doubts about the long-term survival of the Ex-Im Bank date back at least as far as December 2011, when the White House drafted a contingency plan to be put into place if Congress failed to authorize the Bank’s appropriations during that budget cycle.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Tim Evanson)

AKA

To abolish the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and for other purposes.

Official Title

To abolish the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and for other purposes.

    It is a good idea that has been taken over for the benefit of large corps. A version of it should continue to exist but restrict it for good investments to help small and medium size companies that will return the funds loaned along with a profit to the organization
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    I am a little torn on this issue. Yes, the EXIM bank tends to be more supportive of established and profitable corporations. Yes, the EXIM bank should operate independently from political influence. Yes, their should be more support for new businesses needed to establish foreign markets. While all of these ‘negatives’ are true, there are also some ‘positives’. From prior stats, the EXIM bank underwritten loans, have resulted in net positive returns to our treasury- with some losses some years, but overall net positive returns of 10’s of billions to the treasury (it may be much more or somewhat less, I can’t recall the specific numbers). Building foreign markets for products that require large capital investments over a long period of time carry risks that banks would rather not undertake and large fluctuations in capital reserves are something that publicly traded companies are often unwilling to take on, since it effects stock valuations and investor returns, particularly for the larger companies which tend to be predominately featured parts of 401K mutual fund packages. These companies are faced with international competitors that are directly supported by their governments to cover these risks and this puts our companies at a great competitive disadvantage without the EXIM bank- which is bad for our economy. The EXIM bank helps to level the playing field. I support the EXIM bank’s role for these long term capital investment driven products, which have historically resulted in long term returns to our county’s treasury. I do believe that some re-thinking of the EXIM bank’s charter is warranted to assure it’s independence from undue politicization and to expand it’s role in judiciously supporting new companies expansion into foreign markets. I do not support eliminating the EXIM bank without a detailed study of the longer-term consequences of so doing- which to me seem to be negative at this time.
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    It would seem that part of the bank is working as advertised in that it is assisting small businesses. However it certainly has become a large corporation piggy bank at the same time. Perhaps revamping the operations of the bank to stop corporations over a certain market capitalization from accessing it would be more appropriate
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Small business is the backbone of this nation... Things are going well in the economy today, but that can change quickly, and if we kick the chair out from under small businesses then you risk turning a future recession into a great depression.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    This is not an appropriate function of government, and an abuse of taxpayers. Businesses that can not survive without government intervention deserve to fail.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    This is another example of Republicans trying to undo things FDR did that have worked for over 50 years and hurt small business and the average person. I have no doubt it is possible misused, but think it is better to get Rep's out of control and fix wa
    Like (6)
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    If the Export-Import Bank really did support/assist small businesses to export U.S. goods to foreign countries that would be great. However, it seems that is not what it actually does. Seems it supplies a slush fund--I mean loans--to some the largest multi-national corporations officially based in the U.S.
    Like (6)
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    The Export-Import Bank is nothing more than taxpayer-backed corporate welfare. Export subsidies — like those provided by the Ex-Im Bank — don’t create jobs, and only fuel an international subsidy bidding war.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Just because the multinational corporations who fund Congress want to eliminate competition from the small startups is no excuse to stop a program that creates millions of jobs. Stop letting lobbyists write public policy!
    Like (6)
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    NO! Not a smart move. Shutting down the export import bank is another stab at shrinking the middle class and taking diversity of products away from entrepreneurs and small businesses. REMOVE THE TRAITOR from the White House.
    Like (5)
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    The bank should be revamped to do more for small businesses. It was not intended for use by large corporations.
    Like (5)
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    After taking a quick look at what this agency does, and considering the fact that our export markets are weak because of the trade war, it seems we would be putting ourselves in a worse position if we can not help others buy our goods. Most other nations have agencies that do this. It seems crazy not to have one too.
    Like (4)
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    So many of our economic competitor, such as China, subsidize their exports & tend to inflate their currency, if we fail to continue to follow suit by using the Export/Import Bank the U.S. would lose jobs and it would be hardest on small businesses Which are the heart of our economy. Economic times now are so uncertain we cannot afford those those consequences, recession or depression is probably on the way anyway with the Republicans spending us into a Trillion $$$$$ DEBIT.
    Like (4)
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    As much as I worry that the import-export bank could hurt us if we just hand loans out to everyone, I think it is important to maintain a global market that our local businesses can be competitive in. *This vote was a hard one.*
    Like (4)
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    Reform, revitalize and repurpose. We need New Deal Programs. Just remember first ExIm, then Social Security another New Deal relic. Need more be said?
    Like (4)
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    Nah to shutting it down. That is all this bill is wanting to accomplish. My $0.02 is that there should be reform for the bank and make it less applicable for larger corporations and more applicable for small to medium sized businesses
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    SHUT IT DOWN NOW!
    Like (3)
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    The way this organization is organized is only for big business and really doesn't help the small or middle-income businesses. The large manufacturers can fight for themselves and really don't need the Federal Government representing them, the money should be used to assist small and middle-income companies.
    Like (3)
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    This is a small business’s nightmare &a knife twist in the back. There are financial institutions that should be shut down many of us have been ravaged by many of them before. Fix the issues & keep it going please.
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    I'm not in favor of subsidizing rich-corporate businesses, period !
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