Export-Import Bank Twitter Account: #SmallBiz 153, Boeing 1

Today the Export-Import Bank sent out a tweet telling small business owners to check out how they can get assistance from the Bank.  This is nothing new, though.  Small businesses get a lot of attention from the Bank on Twitter.

Since the Bank sent out it’s first tweet on May 4, 2012, they’ve tweeted using the hashtag #smallbiz 153 times (160 including the times they tweeted it without the hashtag symbol), and they’ve tweeted the phrase “small business” 28 times.

It’s prime beneficiary gets no such love on twitter. Since it sent out it’s first tweet, the Ex-Im Bank has sent out one about Boeing on June 22, 2012.

The Bank retweeted one from Ex-Im Bank chairman Fred Hochberg on January 14, 2014, and one from Paul Merrion on November 18, 2013.      


The Heritage Foundation wrote recently that focusing on small businesses may be good messaging, but it’s disingenuous of the Bank to pretend its real mission — or the “heart of the Bank’s mission” as Hochberg says — is to help small businesses.  Heritage notes:

Under the bank definition, a small business can employ up to 1,500 people and pull in revenues of up to $21 million annually, depending on which sector of the economy it’s in. And even by that definition, the vast majority of subsidized financing goes to major corporations rather than “small” entities:

Who’s really getting the money? Heritage expert Diane Katz reveals:

Multinational corporations attract the largest proportion of Ex–Im financing, including the construction and engineering firm of Bechtel, ranked by Forbes as the fourth-largest privately held company by revenue, and Lockheed Martin, valued in excess of $50 billion. But the bank’s foremost beneficiary is Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company (with a market capitalization exceeding $91 billion). In the past five years, the company has profited from 197 Ex–Im deals totaling $48 billion. Last year alone, Boeing-related financing comprised 30 percent of all Ex–Im activity.

Even though Boeing doesn’t get as much love on Twitter from the Bank, they’re certainly not complaining about the Bank’s activities.  Yet even Fred Hochberg has acknowledged the multi-billion dollar, multinational corporation doesn’t need financing from the Bank.  “Big commercial jet makers like Boeing tend to arrange their own financing,” he said.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 83% certainly hasn’t fallen for the Bank’s messaging.  He is leading the fight to end “Washington-engineered unfair play in the economy,” and he suggests starting with ending the Ex-Im Bank. 

Suggested Tweets
Boeing may get less Twitter love from @ExImBankUS than #SmallBiz, but they get a lot more money.

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The @ExImBankUS exists primarily to help multi-billion dollar corporations like Boeing, not #smallbiz

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The @ExImBankUS is about Washington engineering the economy to help #bigbiz like Boeing, not #smallbiz

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