Facts About the Export-Import Bank

July 31, 2014

The Export-Import Bank (or, the Ex-Im Bank) distributes taxpayer funds to foreign companies in order to finance the purchase of American products. According to the Heritage Foundation, large multinational corporations are the primary beneficiary of Ex-Im funds:

  • More than 80 percent of Ex-Im financing goes to large firms. In 2013 alone, the Boeing Company benefited from more than 66 percent of Ex-Im loan guarantees.
  • Just 0.009 percent of small businesses receive export financing support from the Ex-Im bank.
  • Ninety-eight percent of American exporters receive no assistance from the bank.

Much of the argument in favor of the Ex-Im Bank centers on the notion that the agency creates jobs. But in fact, the subsidies hurt American jobs because they put American firms at a competitive disadvantage:

  • For example, Ex-Im has financed coal mining in Colombia and copper excavation in Mexico. This financing has caused American companies to lose jobs.
  • According to Ex-Im's Inspector General, the agency's analyses of its program have omitted important data and failed to consider the impact of subsidies on domestic employment.

The Heritage Foundation explains that when Ex-Im funds are distributed, taxpayers are put at risk, because all Ex-Im financing is backed by the federal government. In 2014, taxpayers will be liable for $140 billion in Ex-Im funds.

Source: "Facts About the Export-Import Bank," Factsheet No. 149, Heritage Foundation, July 28, 2014. 

 

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