The Export-Import Bank charter is up for renewal. The renewal process demands we take the time and effort to go back to first principles, and evaluate its costs, benefits and consequences (intended and unintended).
The 80-year-old institution offers low-interest rates and mitigates risks to borrowers, so that they hopefully purchase more from the United States. Today, with low interest rates around the world, and many commercial options for insuring against business risks, there probably is no intrinsic value to the Ex-Im Bank today and into the future. Thus, at this moment, I believe the charter should not be renewed.
Some Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories customers have used the Ex-Im Bank for financing, at their choosing. SEL does not depend on it, nor encourage it. If the Ex-Im Bank were to disappear, I believe buyers and sellers would find attractive commercial options unencumbered by politics and special interests.
The government’s role should be to drive for free and honest trade around the world, through our State and Commerce departments. I do not believe its role should include competing with commercial banking, financing, and insurance.
Edmund Schweitzer III
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