Clinton’s Support For Ex-Im Rooted In Cronyism, Critics Say
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has arguably become the Export-Import Bank’s most prominent cheerleader, which some critics argue is just further evidence she is a crony capitalist at heart.
Despite making “everyday Americans” a central part of her campaign theme, a number of Clinton’s recent policy positions “tell a different story,” argues Andy Koenig, a senior policy adviser at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, in an op-ed for Forbes Monday.
Most notable, Koenig says, is Clinton’s support for Ex-Im, which has been “one of the few issues she’s actually addressed on the campaign trail.” (RELATED: Clinton Supports Subsidies for Firms that Gave to Foundation)
At a recent event in New Hampshire, for instance, she gave a forceful defense of the bank and called on Congress to reauthorize its charter. And during a 2010 hearing, while she was Secretary of State, Clinton even said she would like to put Ex-Im “on steroids.”
“Just like Hillary Clinton, the Ex-Im Bank is at the beck-and-call of some of America’s largest companies,” Koenig claims, pointing out that large corporations received 81 percent of all Ex-Im financing in 2013, and that the top 10 recipients accounted for nearly two-thirds of the bank’s authorizations.
Many of those corporations—including Boeing and General Electric, the top two recipients—are also major donors to the Clinton Foundation. Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg was a bundler for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. (RELATED: Ex-Im Criticized for Lending to State-Controlled Foreign Companies)
In fact, Hochberg was a “Hillraiser,” meaning he secured six-figure donations for the campaign in addition to making a separate, five-figure personal contribution to the Clinton Foundation, according to an Americans for Tax Reform blog post Monday by ATR Federal Affairs Associate Alexander Hendrie.
Moreover, ATR notes that Ex-Im has provided millions of dollars in loans to clients of a consulting firm run by Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff, though the bank has yet to comply with a 2013 FOIA request from watchdog groups seeking information about the transactions. (RELATED: Boeing Threatens to Outsource Jobs if Ex-Im is Shut Down)
“Perhaps the biggest reason that Clinton loves Ex-Im,” Hendrie speculates, “is because it has become part of her political machine.”
Spokespersons for Clinton’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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