Issue Profile: The Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI), along with Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has introduced the Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012 (H.R.4268).  As the name suggests, it would eliminate the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which in 2008, then-Senator Obama called “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”

H.R.4268 would end the Ex-Im Bank three years after the bill’s enactment and would disallow the agency from accepting new loan or loan guarantee applications after thirty days of enactment. It would also halt the Bank from renewing or entering into a contract to provide a loan, insurance, or a guarantee, or participate in an extension of credit by another entity 12 months after the bill’s enactment. Basically, it begins the process of winding down the “Fannie Mae for exporters.”

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to House Members, Rep. Amash wrote:

“Ex-Im has become a tempting vehicle for social engineering and red tape, as well. Examples include extensive economic and environmental impact reports, limits on foreign content, shipping restrictions and mandates for renewable energy.

“Ex-Im does not create jobs or expand the economy. At best, it simply redistributes jobs from other exporters and import-using businesses to the bank’s clients.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Amash spoke at The Heritage Foundation about the Ex-Im Bank:

“Conservatives should strongly oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Ex-Im provides below-market loans and loan guarantees to foreign entities that purchase domestic goods. Principled conservatives recognize that this type of corporate welfare violates the Rule of Law because it unjustly enriches some companies at the expense of others, while putting taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars of loans.”

The Ex-Im bank provides corporate welfare for companies wishing to export their products overseas at lower costs than they sell to companies here in America. If President Obama and the left were truly serious about “fairness” and helping American companies, he would oppose an extension of the Ex-Im Bank, instead of touting it.

The Ex-Im bank must be terminated in order to allow companies to compete on an even playing field. We should not be putting taxpayers on the hook for bad loans, especially in the era of Solyndra (which received taxpayer support from Ex-Im).

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