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Why are US taxpayers subsidizing Brazilian granite?

A few weeks ago, the House reauthorized the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which is a federal agency that subsidizes U.S corporations who set up shop outside the United States. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor celebrated the passage of corporate welfare despite a majority of House Republicans being against the measure.

According to The Washington Examiner, OPIC is now subsidizing Brazilian granite at the expense of granite manufactured in the United States:

 In 2012, OPIC approved a $6 million taxpayer-backed loan to support a U.S. company expanding its Brazilian operation that extracts granite and cuts it into slabs for countertops to ship to the U.S. and other countries.

The OPIC subsidy obviously helps the recipient — Wisenbaker Building Supply — but it hurts American companies that excavate granite or shape granite blocks into countertops in the U.S.

U.S. rock quarries have pared back operations over recent decades. In Barre, Vt., jobs in the industry amount to one-third of the1960s peak, Barre Granite Association's Executive Director Ed Larson told a local newspaper last summer. “Mainly because of foreign competition," the paper said.

Way to go House Republican Leadership!


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