Index for June 2014

Volume 13, Issue 6

  • Republicans escalate battle for closure of U.S. Export Import Bank

    (ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 June 2014) The ongoing battle waged by radical completely free market Republicans to close the U.S. Export Import Bank escalated this month, fuelled by Wall Street Journal revelations of alleged cronyism, the release of Ex-Im's 2013 Competitiveness Report and a September 30 deadline for renewing Ex-Im fiscal authorization. Below we provide a few links to this debate.

    McCarthy sides against Export-Import Bank Financial Times
    U.S. Export-Import Bank chief faces heat from Republicans in House Washington Post
    Conservative Critics Lobby For An Early End To Export-Import Bank National Public Radio
    US small businesses lobby for survival of embattled Export-Import Bank Times of India
    Instead of killing Export-Import Bank, why not restrict it to small business? Albany Business Review
    Export-Import Bank in Jeopardy as Boehner Refuses to Back Charter Renewal Newsmax
    Republicans fight a civil war over export credit Financial Times

  • Export credit finance for coal under fire

    (ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 June 2014) As published last month, NGOs have called for an end to export credit support for high carbon projects. The European Union is supposed to be phasing out all subsidies for domestic coal plants by 2018 and, as noted in another article in this issue of What's New, the US, UK and Netherlands hope to encourage incentives to limit ECA support to low emission coal technologies. But the EU Trade Department has circulated a report saying export credits, or preferential loans to help cover exports costs, should be continued for the most modern coal plant technology, claiming coal as an important energy source is not going to disappear immediately. The issue was to be debated at an OECD Export Credit Working Group meeting in the week of June 16th. ECA preferential support accounted for some US$5 billion from 2007-2013, with Germany, followed by France, being the biggest providers in Europe. Environmental groups continue to insist that all taxpayer subsidized support for all coal and other high carbon projects end.

  • (Oil Change International, Washington, June 2014) A new campaign toolkit provides guidance on how to identify the many forms of coal subsidies, to quantify them where possible, and to campaign to ultimately eliminate them. The toolkit covers national subsidies and public finance for coal, including exploration, mining, processing, power plants, and associated infrastructure. The kit includes links to valuable resources such as the OECD’s “Inventory of Estimated Budgetary Support and Tax Expenditures for Fossil Fuels”, which provides a summary of each of the 34 OECD countries’ budgetary and tax-related measures at the central-government level and for selected sub-national units of government.  It includes an online database of quantitative estimates for a subset of producer and consumer subsidies for each country.

  • (Reuters, Washington, 16 June 2014) The United States, United Kingdom and Netherlands will float a plan this week requiring new coal-fired power plants to meet a carbon pollution standard in order to receive public funding from the world's wealthiest countries, according to a draft seen by Reuters. The countries will present the plan to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's exports credits group, which started a week-long meeting on Monday June 16th.

  • (Export Import Bank, Washington, June 2014) Ex-Im's annual competitiveness report provides useful statistics about volumes of ECA financing not published by the OECD over the last few years, by OECD and non-OECD countries, by type of financing, trends, etc. For example:

    Fig.1 p.3 GLOBAL ECA ACTIVITY, 2011-2013 (BILLIONS USD)

    (The latest OECD figures are only for 2010!)

Volume , Issue

  • (Wall Street Journal, Washington, 23 June 2014) The U.S. Export-Import Bank has suspended or removed four officials in recent months amid investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks, as well as attempts to steer federal contracts to favored companies.

Volume 13, Issue 7

  • (US Dept. of Justice, Washington, 34 <july 2014) The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that an $80 million False Claims Act judgment was entered against BNP Paribas for submitting false claims for export payment guarantees issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  BNP Paribas is a global financial institution headquartered in Paris.