Since 1945, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has played a vital role in boosting U.S. exports and competitiveness by providing over $500 billion in financing and insurance for export transactions. In 2010 alone, the Ex-Im Bank provided $24.5 billion worth of export credit financing which backed $34.4 billion worth of U.S. exports, supporting 227,000 jobs at 3,300 U.S. companies.
But with the current Congressional authorization of the Ex-Im Bank set to expire on June 1, 2012—and Congress currently in the midst of deliberation on Ex-Im Bank reauthorization—some have challenged the continued need for the Ex-Im Bank and its mission of providing credit financing to U.S. exporters.
ITIF’s Robert Atkinson and the Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson will take the “pro” side, arguing that the Ex-Im Bank remains a vital element of U.S. competitiveness and its authorization levels should increase. The CATO Institute’s Sallie James and Andrew Roth of Club for Growth will take the "con" side, arguing that the Ex-Im Bank is an unwarranted intrusion in the marketplace.