Skip to main content

Originally published Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Editorial: Time for Cathy McMorris Rodgers to take stand for Boeing, Export-Import Bank

International competition for Boeing on display at the Farnborough Air Show shows why GOP leaders can’t play games with the Export-Import Bank

Seattle Times Editorial

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
"Take a stand"? Good luck with that. Someone needs to find the remote control the Speaker has that tells her what to... MORE
Why now? They could of gotten rid of the bank countless of times before, Stunts like this make me really hate... MORE
@kmw Maybe you should read how the Ex-Im bank actually works. It is a profit center for us (as in "no cost to... MORE


BOEING firmed up plenty of orders at the annual Farnborough Air Show, near London, but behind that news is the fact that Washington’s homegrown jet maker has so many competitors with a foreign flag.

There’s Airbus, the European consortium that promises a Dreamliner-killer; Japan’s Mitsubishi, with its smaller commuter jet; and the as-yet-unbuilt Chinese C-919, a direct competitor that might pose the biggest threat of all.

All of which ought to tell U.S. House Republican leaders — and Washington’s U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, in particular — that this is not a good time for America to practice unilateral disarmament. One of the nation’s best aircraft-sales tool, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, goes away Oct. 1 unless it is reauthorized by Congress.

Boeing’s international buyers are the bank’s biggest customers — they obtained $7.9 billion in loan guarantees last year to purchase 106 airplanes. That fuels argument from a faction of congressional House Republicans that the bank is government largesse for well-connected corporations.

Worried bank advocates say it’s not just about Boeing. Ninety percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s loans go to small businesses. But the Farnborough Air Show shows there’s nothing wrong with standing up for Boeing. Every other country with an aircraft industry has an export-credit agency. That’s what it takes to sell to the national airlines of developing countries, and if we don’t do it, others will.

“Imagine what it would do to this country’s manufacturing base if Boeing went away,” says U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, sponsor of the reauthorization bill.Every other Washington lawmaker is backing the Ex-Im Bank, save the one who could play the most important role in bringing the bill to the floor. McMorris Rodgers, the GOP conference leader, needs to declare unequivocal support. Boeing has 15,000 suppliers, and 40 are in her 5th Congressional District, doing $362 million in business annually. Being in leadership sometimes requires a person to lead.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Relive the magic

Relive the magic

Shop for unique souvenirs highlighting great sports moments in Seattle history.



The Seattle Times photographs

Seattle space needle and mountains

Purchase The Seattle Times images

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►