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The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) was first created in 1943, this obscure government agency backs the purchase of American-made goods oversees with loans backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.  The bank’s renewable charter first expired in September of last year, but Congressional leaders have quietly resuscitated it through temporary patches in spending measures.  This week the US Senate will likely debate raising the Ex-Im lending ceiling by $40 billion for a period of four years.

In spite of its steep budget, its effect on the export of American goods has proven negligible.  And as with all government subsidies, the necessary condition of market distortion has taken its toll: While these federal loans have seen prices of U.S.-made goods drop for a handful of foreign buyers, it’s seen increases for domestic purchasers and with it, job losses.

Among watchdog groups, it’s known as the Fannie Mae for exporters.  Others still recognize it as the Boeing slush fund.

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