Last summer, the employment situation in Bangor, Maine, was looking very shaky, with one of the city’s major employers, General Electric, threatening to move dozens of jobs away from its Bangor Plant to other plants outside of the United States. The reason why this situation came to pass is down to Congress refusing to re-authorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
When Congress refused to take this vital step, General Electric had no choice but to put their cards on the table. The company was up front with the media, admitting that moving some of its production to factories outside of the U.S. made sense from a commercial perspective – without the U.S. Export-Import Bank, also known as the Exim Bank, their U.S. produced goods are simply too expensive to foreign buyers.
The Role of the Exim Bank
House of Representatives Vote
A Political Minefield
Not surprisingly, the General Electric/Exim Bank issue has now become a political minefield, with Democrats accusing Maine U.S. District 2 Congressman, Bruce Poliquin, of jeopardizing local jobs. Congressional candidate, Joe Baldacci, counter accused Poliquin of not supporting the bank, but he has of course fought back with a few choice words of his own.
Poliquin denies not supporting the Exim Bank. Instead he says his primary reason for not changing his vote against the bank authorization legislation was that he believed it had become increasingly corrupt. He says he has been working on reforming the bank for many years in a bid to address the internal corruption and fraudulent activities he believed were going on, and now that many of his reforms have implemented, he is happy for his vote to count in favor of the bank’s reauthorization.