Key Republican wants to kill US Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The next Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives said on Sunday that he favours shuttering the US Export-Import Bank, which helps finance the export of American goods and services abroad.

The government agency supports exporters like Boeing or General Electric with export credit insurance, and provides loan guarantees as well as direct loans.

Numerous Republicans, however, would like that role to be filled by the free market - not by a taxpayer-funded public body.

For this reason, they want to let the bank's lending authority and charter expire in September.

"One of the problems with government is they take hard-earned money so others do things that the private sector can do," Congressman Kevin McCarthy told "Fox News Sunday."

"I think Ex-Im bank is one that government does not have to be involved in."

Asked if he would allow the bank to expire in the fall, McCarthy said: "Yes, because it's something that the private sector can be able to do."

The California Republican was elected House majority leader on Thursday after the resignation of Eric Cantor, following his stunning ouster by a more conservative primary challenger.

Cantor, whom McCarthy will formally replace in August, has supported the existence of the bank.

The conservatives' assault on the bank is part of their effort to reduce the role and spending of the federal government.

Republicans control the House of Representatives, while Democrats hold the Senate and the White House. In 2013, the Export-Import Bank supported around $37 billion worth of exports with its loan, guarantee and insurance programs, according to its annual report.

One of its main beneficiaries is aerospace giant Boeing, which opposes efforts to get rid of the agency.

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