Big Business ready for war with conservatives over corporate subsidies

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Business,Timothy P. Carney,Free Market,Trade,Export Import Bank

The free-market forces are amassing against the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that subsidizes U.S. exports, but K Street is hardly sitting idly by. Bloomberg News reports on the business lobby's efforts to save and expand Ex-Im:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Aerospace Industries Association and Nuclear Energy Institute are stepping up their lobbying to reauthorize the bank, which helps foreign companies buy U.S.-made goods. The charter for the lender, which backed $38 billion in exports last year, expires Sept. 30.

"We’re going to be doing our damnedest to focus some minds" on Capitol Hill, Christopher Wenk, senior director for international policy at the U.S. Chamber, said in a phone interview. "We’re not going to let misinformation win the day this time around." ...

Industry groups have been coordinating their efforts to counter such opposition, said Linda Dempsey, the National Association of Manufacturers’ vice president for international economic affairs.

"This is an all-hands-on-deck effort" from the business community, she said in an interview. Officials from the nuclear industry, who want to ensure that companies can supply the technology for reactors under construction in other nations, and the aerospace industry, which is seeking to expand sales of satellites, also have been meeting with the lawmakers in recent weeks to make their case. ...

"We are going to be intensely increasing our congressional outreach in the coming weeks," according to Wenk, who said the U.S. Chamber has held hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss the issue since the 2012 debate. He said group plans to deploy "significant resources in terms of lobbying, in terms of communications" and will involve chambers of commerce outside Washington to advocate for the bank’s reauthorization.

Here's an obvious point about the systemic problems free-market types face. There are plenty of anti-Ex-Im think tank scholars, economists, activists, and journalists. But there aren't really any revolving-door, high-powered, anti-Ex-Im lobbyists countering the Chamber's efforts.

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