Ex-Im Bank Resurrected by Trump | Citizens Against Government Waste
The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Ex-Im Bank Resurrected by Trump

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


For the first time since 2015, the U.S. Export-Import Bank can approve deals of more than $10 million, because the Senate confirmed three new members of its board of directors, giving the bank a required quorum needed to approve larger deals. Senators confirmed Kimberly Reed as bank president along with Judith DelZoppo Pryor and former Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) on May 8, 2019.  The three nominees were all picked by the Trump administration.

The Ex-Im Bank provides corporate welfare to benefit the wealthiest and most politically connected companies.  The bank aids exports from U.S. businesses by guaranteeing loans and credit for foreign buyers.  This means it uses taxpayer money to subsidize foreign purchases of American goods.  The argument in favor of these subsidies is that they create jobs in the U.S.  Yet the bank’s biggest deals benefit companies like Boeing and General Electric who are among the biggest outsourcers of jobs in the country.  These companies are responsible for increasing U.S. unemployment; yet, taxpayer funded subsidies are helping their profits soar.  It’s outrageous.

It’s also disappointing that supposed fiscal conservatives in the Senate sided with billion dollar companies over the American worker and American jobs.

The bank’s original mission was to help small businesses obtain financing during the Great Depression, because many of those small businesses couldn’t find it through regular lending sources. After the economy recovered, Ex-Im focused less and less on small businesses due to mission creep.  When the bank had a quorum, only about 20 percent of its loan guarantees went to small business.  When the bank lost its quorum, it couldn’t approve any deals over $10 million.  This meant that smaller companies benefitted the most from Ex-Im between January 2016 to last week.  Now that a quorum has been reestablished with three of five seats filled on the bank’s board, the largest and most wealthy corporations will once again take the lion’s share of Ex-Im’s taxpayer funded subsidies.  And the biggest foreign company to benefit from Ex-Im's lending will be China. 

A restored Ex-Im will revert to a system that subsidizes China with American taxpayer money. 

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