‘Boeing’s Bank’ earns its name in closed-door rulemaking with aircraft titan

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Government subsidies create winners and losers. When Congress and a federal judge ordered the Export-Import Bank to study who loses as a result of subsidized Boeing exports, Ex-Im turned to Boeing to craft the economic study, newly released emails reveal.

Ex-Im officials ran the early drafts of their economic model past Boeing officials before publishing it for public comment. Then after the public comment period ended, Ex-Im tweaked the model, at Boeing’s request, to exempt almost all Boeing subsidies from a detailed economic analysis, because such an analysis would sink the deals.

To create an appearance of distance between Boeing and the model, Ex-Im also suggested Boeing handpick a third-party to conduct some economic analysis.

These emails, first reported on by the Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins, show a federal agency extraordinarily cozy with the company it serves.

Here’s the background: When the U.S. government subsidizes Boeing’s exports to foreign airlines, this helps Boeing and the foreign airline. But it also hurts domestic airlines, such as Delta, who compete with Ex-Im’s foreign customers.

Congress requires Ex-Im to study the economic impact of its exports. Ex-Im initially argued that aircraft — the product it subsidizes the most — should be exempted from this requirement, but a federal judge ruled otherwise in mid-2012.

Forced to study whether its Boeing subsidies hurt anyone else, Ex-Im turned to Boeing for guidance. Mullins wrote about this special access last week, after the emails were made public as a result of a lawsuit against Ex-Im led by Delta.

Read the full story here.

Vince Perfetto

Vince adds diverse experience to the Foundation with a background in broadcasting, accounting, and telecommunications. He loves living in the freest state in America, New Hampshire. With a “Live Free or Die” attitude and a strong independent streak, Vince feels right at home among his fellow N.H. citizens. He was raised to respect others and to work hard to achieve his goals, and thus takes pride in saying he has “the best parents, ever.” When Vince isn’t working on the Foundation, he enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with a great New England micro brew.

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