Tags: Export-Import Bank | House | Senate | business

Congress Angers Business With Threat to End Export-Import Bank

Image: Congress Angers Business With Threat to End Export-Import Bank

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 09:21 AM

The Export-Import Bank, an agency responsible for helping to finance and insure U.S. exports, could become a thing of the past, as lawmakers have signaled they may not be willing to renew its charter that would expire in September.

While the top Senate Democrat and Republican, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, have agreed the issue should be debated, according to The Wall Street Journal, House Republicans, mainly conservatives, have said they would oppose its reauthorization.

Businesses and trade groups are up in arms about the idea of axing the bank, the Journal reported. Such groups say the Export-Import Bank is critical in job creation and U.S. economic development. More than 860 companies and business groups wrote a letter calling on Congress to reauthorize the agency, while others will be lobbying for it on Capitol Hill this summer.

Don Nelson, a California oil and manufacturing executive who will put forward his case to Congress next week, said without the agency, many American companies could not survive against foreign competitors.

"I'd sure hate to see China take over, which is what's going to happen if Ex-Im goes away," Nelson told the Journal.

"Shutting down the U.S. Ex-Im Bank is good for business and creates thousands of jobs…in China, Russia and France," says an online ad to be launched Wednesday by the Aerospace Industries Association, according to the Journal.

More than 40 GOP lawmakers wrote to House Speaker John Boehner to support its reauthorization, but tea party lawmakers see the matter differently, calling it "corporate welfare" and market interference, the Journal reported.

New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has already said he wouldn't support extending the agency's charter. The House will hold a hearing about it Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Senate GOP lawmakers are also lukewarm to the idea. Like Democrats in the House who propose reauthorization and increasing the agency's lending camp, Reid supports the bank's reauthorization, but McConnell will only commit to ensuring there's a debate about the issue.

"I haven't decided what I'm going to do but I do think it's an issue that is important enough to be debated and voted on here in the Senate," McConnell said, according to the Journal.

The Export-Import Bank was established in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt by executive order. Its purpose was to help extend credit and insure foreign exports that might otherwise not be purchased by international buyers concerned about credit risks.

Nearly 60 other countries have their own agencies to help finance exports, the Journal reported.

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The Export-Import Bank, an agency responsible for helping to finance and insure U.S. exports, could become a thing of the past, as lawmakers have signaled they may not be willing to renew its charter that would expire in September.
Export-Import Bank, House, Senate, business
418
2014-21-25
Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 09:21 AM
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