ShareThis Page

Avoidable drama: Kill Ex-Im, period!

| Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
A man walks out of the Export-Import Bank in Washington.  (AP file photo)
A man walks out of the Export-Import Bank in Washington. (AP file photo)

If moderates in Congress hadn't revived the Export-Import Bank's charter after conservatives had let it lapse in 2015, the president would have been spared another of his flip-flops — and a looming, awkward and needless nomination fight.

Ex-Im subsidizes export deals, mainly for multinational companies that don't need its help, such as Boeing and General Electric. Candidate Donald Trump rightly described Ex-Im as “unnecessary” and “not really free enterprise.”

But in April, President Trump decided Ex-Im should stick around. And with the bank's five-member board lacking a quorum of three — which limits Ex-Im deals to $10 million — he has nominated two former congressmen.

His Ex-Im chairman pick, former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., lost his bid for an eighth House term last year. In a 2015 House-floor speech, Mr. Garrett said Ex-Im “turns the economy into a biased actor that uses your taxpayer dollars to tilt the scales in favor of its friends,” according to The Washington Times.

But now, The Times reports, longtime anti-Ex-Im conservatives in Congress “see Mr. Garrett's nomination as the next best thing to shutting the bank down,” expecting him “to crack down on fraud and corruption, and to sharpen the bank's priorities.” Meanwhile, pro-Ex-Im Democrats on Capitol Hill say an Ex-Im chairman nominee “who wants to support and defend” the bank is needed.

What's really needed is an end to Ex-Im's crony capitalism — not political drama that should have been avoided, concerning an Ex-Im nomination that shouldn't have been made.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.