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Export-Import Bank That Benefits Boeing Faces Congressional Opposition

777_photo.jpg
Ashley Gross
/
KPLU
Loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank have helped Boeing sell some 777 jets to overseas airlines

It’s coming down to the wire for the Export-Import Bank, the federal agency that offers financing and loan guarantees to help U.S. businesses export goods. Some Republicans want to let the bank’s charter expire at the end of this month. 

Washington state businesses are paying close attention to this fight because Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of the Export-Import Bank. Reuters recently reported that Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said the company might have to shift engineering and manufacturing jobs overseas if the bank disappears. 

Democratic Representative Denny Heck has sponsored a reauthorization bill and says McNerney’s comment has to be taken seriously.

"Is it a threat or is it a promise or is it a prudent thing that a businessman says when he evaluates their ability to compete in a global economy where every other advanced economy in the world has an export credit authority?" Heck said. "We’re the only one talking about doing away with ours."

Critics of the bank, such as Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, say it’s an example of corporate welfare.

Reauthorization is stalled in the financial services committee, which Hensarling chairs.

Heck says he thinks enough lawmakers support reauthorization to pass it, and he's hopeful House Speaker John Boehner will bypass the committee and bring it straight to the floor for a vote. But he says there’s a chance the charter could lapse before a reauthorization vote happens later this summer.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.
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