Repubicans grill Ex-Im President over failure to negotiate OECD Arrangement subsidies

(The Hill, Washington, 15 April 2015) During congressional hearings, Republicans criticized Treasury Department officials for not negotiating with foreign governments to end subsidized export credit programs, as was mandated in the 2012 reauthorization bill. The Secretary of the Treasury had been ordered to initiate and pursue negotiations with other major exporting countries, including members of the OECD and non-OECD members, to substantially reduce, with the ultimate goal of eliminating, subsidized export financing programs and other forms of export subsidies, especially on commecial civil aircraft. [Annex I of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies, Article (k) exempts the terms of the OECD managed Arrangement on Exports Credits from the definition of subsidies. However, it is well known that the Arrangement is a cozy club where national ECAs only loosely monitor the so-called level playing field. For example, in a moment of transparency, the UK's ECDG in 2005 admitted that it subsidized exports to the tune of some US$271 million per year.]