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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.

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