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Opinion

Should U.S. taxpayers subsidize Russian banks and companies?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Finance and Banking,Russia,Export-Import Bank,Subsidies

As President Obama starts hurling sanctions at an increasingly bellicose Russia, a few conservatives are asking whether the administration will cut off subsidies to Russian banks and companies, Lachlan Markay at the Free Beacon reports.

The Club for Growth, often the free-market foil to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in battles over the soul of the GOP, has called on the Chamber -- which played a leading role in passing Ex-Im's 2012 reauthorization amid conservative opposition -- to "Help Stop Export-Import Bank Loans To Russian Companies."

For one thing, in 2012, Ex-Im signed a $1 billion Memorandum of Understanding with Russian financial giant Sberbank. In short, Ex-Im will guarantee Sberbank loans to Russian buyers of U.S. goods.

Last year, according to the agency's annual report, Ex-Im approved a $32 million loan deal with Sberbank involving a petroleum project, and $582 million in loan guarantees to Russian buyers.

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