Wednesday, October 21, 2015



A vote is scheduled to take place on the house floor in late October of this year. The proposed legislation, if passed, would forge a pathway for the reopening of the doors of the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK.

What is the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK you ask? The U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK is a U.S. government agency that assists American Businesses in providing financial and other technical assistance to compete in global trade with an emphasis on exports of American goods to foreign countries. During the height of the depression, FDR pushed through the creation of an agency as part of his NEW DEAL strategy that was designed to assist small and medium sized American companies in their efforts to export goods, manufactured by American workers, to overseas customers. The U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK was born. Over the next few years, and after some tinkering, the bank was retooled in 1945 and, up until July of 2015, was the one place American companies could access assistance in financing the manufacturing and sale of American exports when traditional sources of loans for production and credits for purchase of such goods were not available in the traditional banking arenas. Presidents throughout the years, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, wholeheartedly supported this tool that was successful in making the international markets a "more even playing field" for American business. Just as important, the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK not only increased the bottom line of mid-American businesses, but permitted these work horses to maintain and hire American workers. If that were not enough, at the end of each year this modest agency, staffed by several hundred workers, actually returned a profit to Uncle Sam, last year writing the U.S. Treasury a check for approximately $1 billion dollars. So the question begs, what happened?

When a cabal of individuals with a net worth north of $100 billion dollars and a stable of corporations dominating the energy and manufacturing landscape of the U.S. decides to pursue its radical extremist political agenda, which involves the nixing of governmental involvement in American business, you have the emergence of a narcissistic brand of treason in the form of the Koch brothers. Whether playing the role of king maker for jihadist candidates of the marginal tea party or just settling old scores with mainstream GOP party leaders and detractors, Koch Industries and its "beard" known as "Americans for Prosperity", (the irony never escapes me), decided early in July of this year to flex their substantial political muscle and terminate, with extreme prejudice, the only champion of the spirit and essence of government/private sector cooperation, the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK. So why did they do it?

Well, the easy answer would be, "because they can." This would also be the correct answer. Although Koch industries and their wholly owned ventures were once benefactors of $16 million dollars of loans from the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK that they closed for business, these hypocrites have the audacity and money to demonstrate to the public that their influence does not end at controlling the direction of social issues in conservative America. They had to go one step further. By forcing their puppet legislators to fail to renew its charter, the Koch machine made good on their claim that their newly found political power extends to American industry and, does not, indeed, end at issues relating only to gay marriage and legislation designed to obstruct voter registration. It is a vulgar display of power at best, and at worst an exercise in its willingness to destroy smaller American businesses, which make up 90% of the customers at the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK, just to make a political point. The problem however, the great miscalculation made, was the Koch brothers’ inability to understand that in the process of this most Un-American activity, they neglected to factor in the destruction of American jobs and their failure to recognize that American workers vote, and they vote in big numbers, the unemployed in particular, those same trampled upon workers who live in districts represented by the Koch brothers’ puppet congressional representatives.

Knowing how to count votes is an essential skill in the American real politic. For example, the great state of Texas, with the direct involvement of the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK, (prior to the Koch brothers closing its doors), racked up $23 billion dollars in export sales of American goods made by American workers. The equally great state of California, with the direct assistance of the late U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK, sold in the overseas export market a total of $13 billion dollars of American made goods, much of it generated in the agro-business and aerospace business, and much of those goods shipped out from the port of Long Beach, California. With the presidential election of 2016 now in full swing, both parties must stretch their collective memories to recall a time when a Republican nominated for President of the United States, was victorious without carrying the state of Texas. Of equal consideration, Democratic nominees for President must carry the great state of, yes, California to win the coveted seat in the White House. American workers displaced by the demise of the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK, those that produced a total of $36 billion dollars of American exports in Texas and California, will be lining up at the voting booth, not only in the 2015 congressional races, but more importantly in November of 2016 for the American Presidential election. This reality, whether or not factored in by the Koch machine, is now playing out as a new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is sought to replace Speaker Boehner this fall.

Bakersfield, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy was given marching orders last July, by the Koch political colossus, to bolt the doors of the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK, and through the smoke filled back rooms of the U.S. Congress, he did just that. Unfortunately for Rep. McCarthy, the Republican from Bakersfield, California, fellow Republican Stephen Fincher from Tennessee and Republican Congressman Steve Stivers from Ohio have led the charge for a showdown in which, a bill, through a special procedure known as a "discharge protocol”, is scheduled to hit the House floor on October 26th, 2015. If it passes, as it is predicted to do in the Senate before winding up on President Obama's desk for his signature into law, it will result in the revival of the United States U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK. The Obama administration, as the Kennedy and Reagan administrations before it, supports the EXPORT-IMPORT BANK. If the bill is signed, among the losers will be the governments of China and Russia who have their own worldwide Import/Export banks and who were delighted and encouraged last July when the U.S. export bank was closed. The winners’ bracket is said to include mainstream American business and American workers, including those who were scheduled to lose their jobs at Boeing and G.E. if the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK is not reopened. Finally, one last note about that list: remember the whip that followed his marching orders from the Koch brothers, Kevin McCarthy? It turns out that many voters in his district directly depended upon the American Institution of the U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK as they earned millions in profits, stayed in business and accessed overseas markets with exported agricultural products. Oh, and by the way, those products were shipped out of the U.S. in McCarthy's neighboring congressional district by American workers punching a time clock at a place called "The Port of Long Beach, California."

Chairman of Global Edge International Consulting Associates, Inc.

Labels, Tags, Keywords, Categories And Search Terms For This Op-Ed Article:
business, Koch Brothers, Export-Import Bank, unemployment, international trade, politics, economics, Douglas E. Castle, Donald Trump, GEIconsulting, exports, small business, SBA, EX-IM, financial aid, incentives, elections

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