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Senators Call for Plan to Liquidate Ex-Im Bank

September 11, 2015

A group of U.S. senators are pushing to formally liquidate the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). The government agency’s charter expired in June.

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A group of U.S. senators are pushing to formally liquidate the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).

The government agency’s charter expired in June.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are calling for a plan to sell off assets of the Export-Import Bank, a government agency subsidizing domestic companies’ costs when selling goods in foreign countries.

‘Wind It Down’

“Since the Export-Import Bank’s charter expired on June 30th, the agency has technically entered liquidation,” said Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center. “Republicans are right to be pressing the bank’s president for its plans to wind it down. That means figuring out who are the employees that are needed to manage the orderly liquidation and who are the employees that need to be let go.”

Ex-Im is fully funded through the end of the fiscal year, but it is prohibited from acquiring new obligations, assuming new liabilities, or issuing new bonds and debts.

Stalling for Time?

Ex-Im officials are holding out hope Congress will reauthorize its charter, says Diane Katz, a Heritage Foundation senior research fellow in regulatory policy.

“Ex-Im officials are clearly stalling on a liquidation plan out of hope that the bank charter will be reauthorized,” Katz said. “But the sky has not fallen since the charter lapsed on June 30, and there is no reason to bring it back.”

Katz says Ex-Im helps big business and foreign countries unfriendly towards the United States and hurts domestic small business owners.

“Export subsidies primarily benefit America’s biggest conglomerates and prop up unfriendly foreign regimes,” Katz said. “Contrary to the propaganda of Ex-Im proponents, the subsidies hurt U.S. small businesses more than they help.”

D. Brady Nelson (d.brady.nelson@me.com) writes from Washington, DC.

Internet Info:

Ryan Young, “Ten Reasons to Abolish the Export-Import Bank,” Competitive Enterprise Institute: https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/ten-reasons-abolish-export-import-bank/

Author
Darren Brady Nelson is an Austrian school economist who serves as the chief economist at LibertyWorks and as an associate scholar with the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Nelson is also a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
darren.nelson@me.com