The U.S. Export-Import Bank is little more than a slush fund for corporate welfare, and taxpayers are currently on the hook for $140 billion. Those taxpayers subsidies benefit massive corporations like Boeing, GE and Caterpillar and
state-run companies in countries like China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, but don't result in the creation of new American jobs. There are 31 open corruption and fraud investigations into the bank.
Heritage Action opposes any reauthorization of the bank, which is set to expire on June 30, 2015.
Heritage Action recommends voting YES on killing the Kirk Amendment: a motion to table
(i.e. kill) an amendment introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
Trade barriers blame other countries but don't help recovery
Recommendations on trade policy:
Resist pressure to erect new trade barriers. Facing persistently high unemployment and a stagnant economy, some politicians may attempt to blame other countries for these problems and demand higher tariffs.
However, raising trade barriers will not help our economic recovery any better today than it did in 1930.
Unilaterally reduce US trade barriers whenever possible.
Programs should be expanded to include more categories of imports and extended on a long-term basis.
Eliminate trade-distorting agricultural subsidies. U.S. farmers and livestock producers increasingly rely on access to fast-growing foreign markets.
Decisions about what crops to plant and what livestock to raise should be made by farmers, not legislators. Barriers to imported agricultural products should be eliminated along with government subsidies that distort agricultural production.
Continue to pursue regional trade agreements that make our economy more competitive & reduce barriers to exports. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and subsequent agreements have spurred competition,
job creation, and economic growth. New agreements should focus on expanding trade opportunities, not on imposing environmental and labor provisions that could stifle commerce and economic growth.
Set a firm deadline for concluding the Doha Development
Round of trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization. Doha Round talks have been underway for 10 years, and the US should insist on a deadline to conclude negotiations.
Now that the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
have finally been concluded, pursue other trade and investment agreements. For example, the proposed nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could create new economic opportunities by expanding trade between the US and Australia & others.
OpEd: Sullied hawkish views for sake of Chinese money
In an April 23 cover story, the New Republic ran an inflammatory article about Chao and McConnell entitled "Sullied Heritage: The Decline of Principles Conservative Hostility to China." The venerable liberal monthly cast the piece as a case study of how
two conservative stalwarts--the Heritage Foundation and Mitch McConnell--had sold their respective political souls by moderating their formerly hawkish views for the sake of Chinese money that the Chao family had steered their way.
[Wife of Mitch McConnell and Secretary of Labor] Elaine Chao's father, a shipping magnate, has supposedly cultivated, and benefited from, a relationship with his former classmate Jiang Zemin, who rose to become China's leader.
The piece made several serious suggestions of impropriety, but provided little factual support or outright accusations of any wrongdoing.
One of the pillars of the "fair trade" approach is a set of so-called antidumping and countervailing duty laws. Antidumping laws seek to prevent products manufactured overseas from being sold by foreign firms in the U.S. at "less than fair value."
Countervailing duties seek to offset subsidies provided by foreign governments by imposing duties at the U.S. border.
The effect of these policies is anything but fair to U.S. consumers. The antidumping laws are confusing and arbitrary,
and in many instances merely allow American firms to secure punitive tariffs against competing importers where no unfair trade practices are involved. Worse, these laws drive up the costs of imported components used by other American enterprises,
making their products less competitive in world markets. As a result, American consumers pay higher prices for both imported and domestically produced goods, and American workers find fewer employment opportunities in less competitive American firms.