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The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel is usually quite good on business policy issues. It’s disappointing to read her column where she embraces a false narrative Export-Import Bank opponents are feeding opinion makers, blogs, and social media.
For any columnist, reporter, writer, pundit, Tweeter, YouTuber, Tumblr-er, or Facebooker, planning to cover Ex-Im in the future, here are a few items that will give you a more balanced view, help you see that Ex-Im isn’t a “bank to nowhere,” but a means for supporting 164,000 American workers and $27.5 billion in exports and help you understand why Congress should pass a long-term reauthorization:
- Shutting down Ex-Im would mean many smaller and mid-sized firms couldn’t even export because commercial banks generally won’t accept foreign receivables as collateral for small businesses loans. That’s why scores of small and medium-sized businesses from across the country are urging Congress to renew Ex-Im.
- For example, Bobby Patton, President and CEO of Patton Electronics, says that if Ex-Im isn't reauthorized his business will shrink by 70%.
- Closing Ex-Im would shut American companies out of huge business opportunities overseas because support from an official export credit agency such as Ex-Im is required for a company even to bid on nearly all overseas infrastructure projects.
- Ending Ex-Im would put U.S. companies selling expensive capital goods such as aircraft, locomotives, and turbines at a unique competitive disadvantage because their foreign competitors all enjoy ample financing from their home-country export credit agencies — enough to easily knock U.S. companies out of the competition.
- This is especial true of the nuclear power sector, where deals always require support from an official export credit agency such as Ex-Im. Since the U.S. nuclear industry is dependent on exports—almost no new nuclear plants are being built in the United States while other countries are building dozens—closing Ex-Im could put nuclear suppliers out of business or force them offshore.
- Outside the beltway, support for Ex-Im is broad and growing. Governors of both parties urge Ex-Im reauthorization. Mayors, county, and state leaders understand why Ex-Im must be reauthorized.