Delta, GOP Extremists Aim to Block U.S. Exports

In an unholy alliance that could cost tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson is teaming up with the ultra-conservative Club for Growth to lobby against any increase in the funding cap for the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

The bank, which provides loan guarantees rather than direct loans to foreign companies who pledge to buy U.S.- made products, is nearing its $100 billion annual funding limit. Without additional lending authority from Congress, the bank could no longer provide the needed incentives for foreign companies to consider large-scale U.S. investments.

Among the U.S.-made products typically purchased with Ex-Im Bank assistance are commercial aircraft, automotive components and heavy-duty construction equipment. Thousands of jobs in dozens of states are created and sustained each time one of these large-scale export sales is successfully brokered.

Leading the charge to block any increase in the bank’s funding limit is Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson, who failed last month to secure an injunction blocking loan guarantee that would give Air India the means to purchase more than 30 Boeing-built aircraft.

“Rather than bolster Ex-Im’s ability to assist U.S. manufacturers, some groups are once again creating confusion, this time in an effort to stifle the Bank’s loan guarantee authority and sacrifice good-paying American jobs,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger in a letter to members of Congress. “The Boeing sale is desperately needed to support thousands of manufacturing and service jobs here at home.”

According to a published report in Inside U.S. Trade, Delta recently paid $60,000 to the lobbying firm Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock to pressure House and Senate lawmakers to oppose Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.

The rabidly anti-tax and pro-business Club for Growth, which opposes any increase in the bank’s funding cap as “government interference” also announced it will track and record how lawmakers vote on the Ex-Im reauthorization issue.

“The IAM has seen first-hand how the Ex-Im Bank’s financing authority has grown U.S. exports and supported good paying American jobs,” said Buffenbarger. “Congress should immediately approve funding of the Ex-Im Bank and ensure that it will continue to play a vital role in the U.S. economy.”