≡ Menu

More Vérité from Veronique

In tomorrow’s (May 8th’s) New York Times, my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy eloquently blasts some of the many canards used to ‘justify’ the existence of that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank. A slice:

For nearly four years the Senate leadership has blocked confirmation votes to fill the vacancies on Ex-Im’s board of directors, depriving it of the quorum needed to authorize deals over $10 million. Sadly, Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell and with the help of nearly all Democrats, are expected to end their blockage this week by confirming Kimberly Reed as the head of the bank and two other nominees to the board.

As a candidate Mr. Trump was anti-Ex-Im. Then as president he started calling the bank “a very good thing.” Supporters claim that money funneled through Ex-Im expands exports, small businesses and jobs. Without it, they say, America’s global “competitiveness” would be dealt a blow.

Critics like myself say that Ex-Im’s handouts amount to corporate welfare — often toward large companies like General Electric and Caterpillar — that does not meaningfully increase overall exports. This agency inflates the profits of the politically connected on the taxpayer’s dime. It also artificially grants an edge to foreign companies against which unsubsidized American businesses have to compete.