Congressional Republicans to Let Export-Import Bank Expire
June 24, 2015
Congressional Republicans are poised to deal a sharp blow to their traditional allies in the business community by allowing the federal Export-Import Bank to go out of business at the end of the month.
• Congressional Republicans are poised to deal a sharp blow to their traditional allies in the business community by allowing the federal Export-Import Bank to go out of business at the end of the month. The 81-year-old bank is a federal agency that was created during the Depression and which makes and guarantees loans to help overseas buyers purchase U.S. products. Over the past year, outside conservative groups have denounced the bank as crony capitalism, pressuring fellow Republicans to go along. [Associated Press]
• The U.S. is asking Vietnam, a major garments exporter, to cut out Chinese textiles. In an effort to bolster American exporters, the U.S. is now stipulating that countries joining its new Pacific trade zone cut back on imports from China. The goal of the deal is to create new markets in Vietnam for the U.S. textile industry, which employs a quarter of a million Americans and exported $20 billion last year. This proposal is meeting resistance from businesses and officials who say it will disrupt global supply chains. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
• The U.S. first-quarter GDP slowdown was less severe than previously estimated, raising expectations for stronger growth later in 2015. GDP, the broadest sum of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a 0.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Consumer spending, representing more than two-thirds of economic output, grew at a 2.1% rate in the first quarter, as opposed to the previous estimate of 1.8%. Economists expect the economy will strengthen later in the year, but it remains to be seen if growth can break out of the ~2% range that it has maintained throughout most of the economic expansion that began in 2009. [WSJ]