POLITICS

Trump compromise could end 'Boeing's Bank' for good

The Trump administration may strike a blow to corporate welfare if recent public comments by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tell us anything.

Mnuchin hinted that Trump may transform the Export-Import Bank of the United States — an agency that mostly subsidizes a few large businesses, their foreign (largely state-owned) customers, and some giant Wall Street banks — into an agency that mostly subsidizes U.S. businesses trying to do business overseas.

"Boeing's Bank" as Ex-Im is known around D.C., would actually become what President Barack Obama always pretended it was: another small-business subsidy.

In a typical year, Ex-Im dedicates 80 percent of its funding to subsidizing exports by big businesses, and half of that — 40 percent of all Ex-Im financing — subsidizes Boeing's sales. The five largest exporters subsidized by Ex-Im pocketed 57 percent of all Ex-Im subsidies in 2014, the last full year before Ex-Im's operations were hampered by a political fight over its existence.

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