Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, wants to change the rules of one of the biggest crony capitalist organizations in Washington. He wants to make it easier for the Export Import Bank to dish out large amounts of corporate welfare to companies such as Boeing, which already brings in revenues upward of $95 billion per year.
USA Today reported in a recent article that “Graham, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds foreign operations, has added a provision to the 2017 spending bill that would allow the Export-Import Bank to consider projects of more than $10 million.”
Many supporters of free trade have long opposed the cronyism and corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank, all while only celebrating minor victories. In the summer of 2015, the Export-Import Bank’s charter expired forcing it to close its doors until five months later when Congress reauthorized the bank for another five years.
Another minor victory for those who oppose the Export-Import Bank might be the election of Donald Trump. Although evidence from Trump’s past portrays him as a mercantilist, the president-elect is on record of making critical remarks toward the Export-Import Bank:
I don’t like it because I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s a one-way street also. It’s sort of a featherbedding for politicians and others, and a few companies. And these are companies that can do very well without it. So I don’t like it. I think it’s a lot of excess baggage. I think it’s unnecessary. And when you think about free enterprise it’s really not free enterprise. I’d be against it.