Women, Minorities Receive Little Export-Import Assistance

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Not everyone can receive Export-Import Bank subsidies as supporters claim,  according to research by Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center.

Such claims are “technically incorrect,” she says, because “Ex-Im Bank’s charter clearly prohibits certain industries, projects, and countries from receiving assistance.”

Moreover, de Rugy says her data show that, “Ex-Im assistance primarily benefits a handful of large corporations while barely penetrating the demographics that are used to justify the Ex-Im Bank’s existence,” such as women- and minority-owned businesses.

Based on Ex-Im and Census Bureau data from 2007 (“the most recent year for which the Census report is currently available”), de Rugy found that only about 1 percent of women- and minority-owned exporting firms received Ex-Im financing. (RELATED: Study: Most Manufacturing Industries are ‘Victims’ of Ex-Im Subsidies)

In terms of total export value, the percentage was slightly higher, with Ex-Im subsidies supporting “a little over two percent of the $30.6 billion in total minority-owned export value,” and “almost three percent of the $15.1 billion in total women-owned export value.”

Those figures, de Rugy says, show that “Ex-Im Bank is hardly responsible for the successes of minority-owned exports… [and] does not significantly influence the overall number and exports of women-owned exporting firms, either.”

In contrast, “a little over $7 billion, or 57 percent, of the total $12.4 billion in assistance went to 10 companies,” in 2007. The disparity has increased since then, as “$17.4 billion, or 64 percent, of the total $27.4 billion in assistance accrued to the top 10 beneficiaries,” in 2013.

For both years, Boeing was by far the largest beneficiary, “pulling in 36 percent of all funds in 2007 and 30 percent of all funds in 2013.” General Electric and Applied Materials, Inc. were also among the top-10 beneficiaries in both 2007 and 2013. (RELATED: Boeing, Delta Square Off On Export-Import Bank)

De Rugy concludes from this data that, “while assistance from the Ex-Im Bank might be technically available to a wide variety of exporters in theory, its subsidies tend to benefit many of the same large corporations year after year in practice.” (RELATED: Is The Export-Import Bank Crony Capitalism?)

Overall, de Rugy says, “The data give little grounds to claim that the Export-Import Bank primarily benefits the average person and is fairly distributed among all.”

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