Reform Ex-Im for level playing field

Tony Fratto’s June 25 op-ed (“The Delta double-take on Ex-Im”) fails to acknowledge how the subsidies the Export-Import Bank gives to Boeing and international airlines place American carriers at a significant competitive disadvantage. 

Based on real examples of backing provided to Emirates, for instance, a foreign airline can save over $20 million using Ex-Im financing — the equivalent of getting a free plane for every eight planes purchased. This benefit gives an enormous advantage to foreign-owned airlines, many of which already receive significant funding from their own governments and have access to capital markets in their own right.

Delta wants a level playing field for its 80,000 employees who work hard to make our airline successful. But the bank’s current charter puts it in the position to pick winners and losers. As such, there must be meaningful, mandatory bank reforms that would deny financing to foreign airlines that are creditworthy, state-owned or state-subsidized.

In addition, it is unfortunate that Mr. Fratto failed to disclose that his firm is a paid representative for the National Association of Manufacturers, a coalition of companies that rely on Ex-Im financing and have lobbied heavily for the bank’s reauthorization. He should have stated this connection in the piece so that his advocacy for it appeared in the proper context.