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Walker Argues Ex-Im Bank Is Unconstitutional

Governor's Views At Odds With Statewide Chamber Of Commerce

Michael Vadon

The state’s largest business group and Gov. Scott Walker are at odds over whether Congress should reauthorize the federal Export-Import Bank.

The bank, which shut down in June after Congress didn’t renew its charter, aimed to bolster American exports by making loans to overseas customers of U.S. manufacturers to help those firms purchase U.S. goods. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has said that the failure to keep the bank going has put thousands of Wisconsin jobs in jeopardy, as 224 Wisconsin exporters had been using the bank.

But Walker said he’s still against re-authorization, and recently cited the 10th Amendment — the principle that the federal government can only wield the powers granted to it within the Constitution — while making his case.

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“I look at the Constitution,” said Walker. “It makes it pretty clear that that’s not a responsibility of the federal government. Economic development is something done at the state and at the local level.”

General Electric recently said the absence of the bank was the tipping point in the firm’s decision to move hundreds of engine manufacturing jobs from Waukesha to Canada.