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The Export-Import Bank of the United States is also known as “Boeing’s Bank,” because about 40 percent of its financing, in the average year, goes to subsidize Boeing sales.

Boeing spends a lot of time and money lobbying in favor of Ex-Im. One interesting detail: Kevin Varney, recently a vice president at Ex-Im is now chief of staff for government operations at Boeing.

Boeing says they desperately need Ex-Im financing — that is, U.S. taxpayer guarantees for private bank loans to foreign airlines — but the evidence suggests Boeing finds financing sells jets just fine without the subsidy.

“If the US Export-Import charter is not renewed,” a Goldman Sachs aircraft-industry analysis wrote in recent years, “we believe the overall impact in the near-to-medium term would be fairly limited given the robust financing environment at present….”

The Goldman note added: “It would only require a small step up from each of the many other sources of financing to fill an Ex-Im gap … a marginal impact to an otherwise very strong existing backlog and ongoing order trends.”

You see, Boeing has its own bank besides Ex-Im. It’s called Boeing Capital, and the head of Boeing Capital explained to the Wall Street Journal in 2013, that “he was confident the company could find alternative funding sources for customers that wouldn’t require it to boost its support of aircraft sales.”

Here’s a chart Boeing put out during that 2014 debate over Ex-Im. It compares the relative strength of different sources of financing for selling planes.

The first thing you’ll notice is that there are plenty of sources for aircraft finance. The second is that they’re all good and getting better except for financing from “Export Credit Agencies,” — that is, from Ex-Im.

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This year, the outlook is even better. Boeing Capital says “the aircraft finance industry is in a healthy state, with ample liquidity, a wide diversity of funding options, and an overall positive outlook for 2017.”

They said this at a time that Ex-Im lacked a quorum on its board of directors, and thus could not approve the large subsidies that go to Boeing buyers.

Here’s what I wrote in 2014:

“Emirates, Dubai’s flagship airline,” Reuters reported this week, “would not have trouble buying planes from Boeing Co. even if the U.S. Congress fails to renew the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter later this month, a senior company executive said on Friday.”
Another important factor: many of Boeing’s customers are owned by governments. Ex-Im approved $40.5 billion in guarantees to airlines from 2007-2014. More than $19.5 billion of this (48%) went to government-owned airlines like Air China.

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner’s commentary editor, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Tuesday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

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In an interview with CNN on Friday, the Texas lawmaker said Bolton would be “very, very strong” choice as someone who understands threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

.@tedcruz tells @mkraju that John Bolton should get the nod for the vacant National Security Advisor job https://t.co/PpKyty1hah— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 17, 2017

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