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Businesses Say Perry Is ‘Turning His Back On Texas’

Rick Perry earned plaudits from free-market groups for renouncing his support of the Export-Import Bank, but also alienated parts of the business community.

“Shame on Governor Perry for turning his back on workers in Texas who are finding new growth opportunities abroad to drive growth here at home,” said William Schubert, President of International Trade & Transportation Inc.

Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis, on the other hand, said, “We applaud Governor Rick Perry for joining the growing number of principled leaders who have been standing strong for American taxpayers and against the corporate welfare that the Ex-Im Bank represents.”

Perry announced in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that he no longer supports reauthorizing Ex-Im when its charter expires on June 30, citing concerns over recent revelations of corruption and bribery by bank officials. (RELATED: ‘Complete Lack of Control’ Threatens Huge US Loan)

Unlike most critics of Ex-Im, Perry did not dispute the bank’s value to American businesses. Indeed, he even credited Ex-Im for helping the state to become the nation’s leading exporter, pointing out that it has financed $24 billion worth of exports for 1,200 Texas companies since 2007.

The hedge did little to placate business leaders apprehensive about the bank’s potential demise, though. (RELATED: Is the Export-Import Bank Done?)

“When it comes to the livelihoods of Americans, political posturing is simply irresponsible,” asserted National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons, adding that, “if the Bank is not reauthorized, people are going to lose their jobs, and manufacturers will be hurt.”

“Ex-Im is too important for our country to allow political ambitions to come before the companies and employees who rely on Ex-Im for jobs at home,” agreed Texas Association of Business president Chris Wallace and Texas Association of Manufacturers president Tony Bennett in a joint statement.

Perhaps anticipating such concerns, however, Perry also argued that shutting down Ex-Im is a prerequisite for enacting the entitlement and corporate tax reforms needed to jump-start America’s sluggish economic growth. Noting that most Ex-Im financing goes to just a handful of large corporations, he claimed that closing the bank would establish the “moral credibility” necessary to implement a range of pro-business policies.

“Governor Perry deserves credit for recognizing the GOP will not have the moral high ground to make key reforms—reforms that will improve the lives of ALL Americans—if it continues to be the party of corporate welfare,” Heritage Action communications director Dan Holler told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Conversely, Tyler Schroeder, a financial analyst for Texan aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor, maintained that, “If Gov. Perry truly cared about ‘moral credibility’ he would take into consideration the good of ALL businesses, not just large companies that easily feed his justification.” (RELATED: Small Business Becomes Pawn in Ex-Im’s Fate)

“Many have failed to recognize Ex-Im Bank’s impact on small businesses to compete on the global stage,” he continued, saying, “There is no alternative to Ex-Im Bank for small businesses.”

“It is hard to imagine any CEO would actually believe corporate welfare in the form of the Export-Import Bank is more important than serious, pro-growth tax and regulatory reform,” Holler countered. “If they do, it is a reflection on their business model not the value of the bank.”

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