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Why the U.S. Needs the ExIm Bank

Export Credit Financing Is Standard Practice Around the World

A car is assembled at a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, August 2008. Rebecca Cook / Reuters

In the face of increasing competition from China and other emerging economies, the continued disruption of the Export–Import (ExIm) Bank is undermining U.S. competitiveness in key manufacturing sectors. For most major economies, state-backed export credit—the use of loans and other forms of government financing to facilitate exports—is a core element of industrial policy. But while its rivals are expanding their use of this policy tool, the United States has moved in the opposite direction, dramatically constraining its use of export credit.

Financed by the billionaire Koch brothers, a collection of ultra-free-market advocacy organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, and the Mercatus Center, have made the ExIm Bank a prime target in their campaign to dramatically reduce the size of the U.S. government and its role in the economy. By urging congressional Republicans to block the bank’s reauthorization, they successfully shut down

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