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A cashier counts out money at Macy A cashier counts out money at Macy's Herald Square on Thanksgiving Day in New York November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer  

Washington State Hoarding Ex-Im Dollars, Analysis Finds

The Export-Import Bank mainly benefits one company and a few states, a policy expert told The Daily News Foundation Friday.

Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, drew from a geographical analysis first released Wednesday revealing that Export-Import Bank financing is concentrated in just a handful of states.

Using Ex-Im data from 2007 to 2014, de Rugy illustrated her findings with two maps, one showing each state’s share of all Ex-Im disbursements over that period, and the other showing the share of each state’s exports that were supported by Ex-Im financing.

From the first map, it is immediately apparent that Washington receives a much larger share of Ex-Im financing than any other state, accounting for 43.6 percent of Ex-Im’s disbursements since 2007. The next-highest shares went to Texas and California, which accounted for 10.5 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.

In contrast, she found that 42 states each collected less than 2 percent of the bank’s disbursements, and 35 states collected less than 1 percent.

The reason Washington collected such a disproportionate share of Ex-Im financing is easily explained. “No matter how you cut the data,” de Rugy told TheDCNF, “a huge amount of the Bank’s activities benefit just one company: Boeing.” According to de Rugy, Boeing “benefits from 66 percent of the Bank’s loan guarantee program and 35 percent of the overall bank activities.”

Washington’s predominance stands out perhaps even more starkly in de Rugy’s second map, but in this case, it is almost the only outlier. Ex-Im provided financing for 22.7 percent of all exports from Washington between 2007 and 2014, compared to only 4 percent of exports from Wisconsin, the next-closest state.

This high level of conformity suggests that most of the differences in each state’s share of total Ex-Im financing reflected the varying sizes of their economies and export sectors, rather than the degree of their reliance on the bank. In both Texas and California, for instance, less than two percent of exports received Ex-Im financing.

From her analysis, de Rugy concludes that most states “get little-to-nothing from Ex-Im,” even though “they still bear the full risk of its financial exposure.” Given this imbalance, she says, “all U.S. taxpayers should ask why Congress continues to defend a program that mostly benefits just a handful of big corporations, in an equally small handful of states.”

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