CEI Opposes Waters Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization Bill

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) opposes a bill authored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that would reauthorize Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) operations. The bill is different from a Senate bill introduced by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that was the subject of a CEI study, entitled “How the Ex-Im Bank Enables Cronyism and Wastes Taxpayer Money.” That study stated CEI’s opposition to Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, but also proposed several key reforms to the Cramer-Sinema bill.

CEI senior fellow and study author Ryan Young said:

“The House should decline to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, for several bipartisan reasons. Republicans oppose the Bank’s support of state-owned businesses in China and other illiberal countries. Air China is Ex-Im’s single largest state-owned beneficiary. Ex-Im cuts against other administration priorities in trade and foreign policy. Democrats oppose Ex-Im’s support of fossil fuel programs. America’s emergence as a net energy exporter also means that energy businesses do not need Ex-Im’s corporate welfare. More than 99.8 percent of American exports happen without Ex-Im involvement, and total exports hit record highs throughout Ex-Im’s 2014-2019 period of reduced activity. Even Ex-Im’s largest individual beneficiaries, such as Boeing, reported no trouble finding private financing and posted record profits during this period. Add in dozens of Ex-Im-related corruption allegations and millions of dollars of resources wasted on lobbying instead of becoming more competitive, and Congress should close the Export-Import Bank, not renew it. Failing that, any legislation should have a short authorization period of two or three years, not 10 years. Any reauthorization should also preserve Ex-Im’s board quorum requirement that gives the agency at least a modicum of accountability to Congress.”

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