Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012

Letters to Officials

March 26, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative,

Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) will soon introduce the Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012. This legislation would abolish the market-distorting Export-Import Bank, an agency set up to pick winners and losers in the private sector. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support this legislation.

The Export-Import Bank was created during the Great Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 in order “to aid the exchange of commodities and services between the United States and any foreign country or the agencies or nationals of any such country.” Today, the bank uses taxpayer money to subsidize borrowing by firms both in America and abroad, most of which are profitable and would have no trouble borrowing without the subsidy.

According to the Cato Institute, the Export-Import Bank “merely displaces private investment by funding ventures that would otherwise have taken place. Moreover, the vast bulk of the bank's financing goes to very large corporations that do not need handouts from taxpayers.” Companies that receive low-cost loans from the Export-Import Bank include Boeing, Halliburton, Chevron, Caterpillar, and Dell. Critics have called it the “Reverse Robin Hood” because it takes money from taxpayers and distributes it to rich corporations. The Export-Import Bank has also often been called “Boeing’s Bank,” in part because the manufacturer received 65 percent of the bank’s $15.3 billion in loans in 2010.

The Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012 would wind down the Export-Import Bank over the course of 3 years, ending in the full abolishment of the Bank exactly 3 years after the date that this legislation is enacted. Prior to this abolishment date, any functions that are authorized to be performed by the Bank or any affiliated board, agency, or employee would be transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury. All functions that are transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury would terminate when the Secretary of the Treasury determines that all obligations of the Bank and the obligations of others to the Bank have been satisfied.

The Export-Import bank is a salient example of corporate welfare and its termination is included in CCAGW’s Prime Cuts database, a compendium of 691 waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $391.9 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years. According to Prime Cuts, shutting down the Export-Import Bank would save taxpayers $189 million in one year and $945 million over five years. I urge you to support Rep. Amash’s legislation. All votes on the Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2012 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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