Monday, February 20, 2017

Another example of Trump’s duplicity

As a candidate, one of Donald Trump’s most prominent campaign promises was that he was going to stop the flow of American companies wishing to locate facilities outside the United States. He wanted all those customers from other countries to purchase products "made in America."

However, his recently confirmed nominee for budget director, Mick Mulvaney, is advocating programs to do just the opposite, According to this report by Sharon Lafraniere and Alan Rappaport in The New York Times, Mulvaney is recommending eliminating the Export-Import Bank, which, for the last 80-plus years, has supported American jobs by financing the export of goods and services. It does this by providing guaranteed loans to foreign customers of U.S. products. These loans, according to the bank’s website have "supported 1.4 million private-sector, American jobs in the past eight years, supporting 52,000 jobs in FY 2016." In addition, more than 90 percent of the bank's transactions — more than 2,600 — directly supported American small businesses.

"With approximately 85 other export credit agencies around the world trying to win jobs for their own countries, the Export-Import Bank helps level the playing field for American businesses," according to one bank official. "‘Made in America’ is still the best brand in the world, and Export-Import Bank ensures that U.S. companies never lose out on a sale because of attractive financing from foreign governments."

Yet the bank has long been the target of such hard right-wingnuts as the Koch Brothers and I guess Trump is now more subservient to this segment of the American political scene than he is those who believed in his campaign rhetoric.

It’s interesting to note that one of the heroes of the American right, former President Ronald Reagan, had this to say on Jan. 30, 1984 about the Export-Import Bank: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."

And another Republican President, George W. Bush, made this announcement on June 14, 2002: "I have today signed into law S. 1372, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2002. This legislation will ensure the continued effective operation of the Export-Import Bank, which helps advance U.S. trade policy, facilitate the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad, and create jobs here at home."

I guess the days of that kind of Republican orthodoxy are long gone.

Mulvaney also wants to eliminate federal support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corp, AmericCorps and the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, programs that account for less than $500 million in a budget of $4 trillion.

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