National security isn’t just about military capabilities. It’s also about having a strong economy that can sustain those capabilities. Regrettably, the U.S. share of world production and trade has gradually declined as economic globalization has progressed in the new century. That trend is unlikely to reverse until the U.S. generates exports commensurate with the size of its overall economy. The Export-Import Bank plays a central role in expanding U.S. exports by serving as a lender of last resort for companies that cannot secure private-sector financing, and by countering the predatory credit practices of other trading nations such as China. Ex-Im Bank requires no money from taxpayers because its administrative costs are covered by fees imposed on those who use its services, and its programs are estimated to have sustained 290,000 U.S. jobs in fiscal 2011. However, Congress needs to reauthorize the bank’s charter and raise the ceiling on credit activity before the limit is reached this Spring. Failure to do so would have major negative consequences for the U.S. trade balance and economy. I have written a Forbes commentary that you can read here.
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