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Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Export-Import Bank

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

March 30, 2015, Decided; March 30, 2015, Filed

Civil Action No.: 13-0192 (RC)

Opinion

 [*254]  Re Document Nos.: 14, 43, 44, 50

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Granting Defendants' Motion To Dismiss; Denying as Moot Defendants' and Plaintiffs' Motions for Summary Judgment; and Denying as Moot Plaintiffs' Motion to Supplement the Administrative Record

I. INTRODUCTION

The Export-Import Bank ("Ex-Im Bank" or "Bank") is an independent agency established in 1934 as the official export credit agency ("ECA") of the United States to promote and facilitate U.S. exports by providing loans and loan guarantees to foreign purchasers of U.S.-manufactured goods and services. The U.S. aircraft manufacturing industry is one of many domestic industries that rely on Ex-Im Bank support to compete with foreign manufacturers that receive similar support from foreign ECAs. But while U.S. aircraft manufacturers enjoy the benefits of the Ex-Im Bank's assistance in selling their planes to foreign airline purchasers, U.S. commercial airlines, which are [**3]  not  [*255]  eligible for financing from the Bank, object to the boost that the Bank's support provides to overseas competitors.

Delta Air Lines, Inc. ("Delta"), Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. ("Hawaiian"), and the Air Line Pilots Association, International ("ALPA") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") are among those that protest the Ex-Im Bank's support of foreign aircraft purchasers. Together, Plaintiffs have embarked on a multipronged litigation attack against the Ex-Im Bank and its Board of Directors (collectively, "Defendants"), in wh ich they maintain, among other things, that the Bank has violated the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 ("Bank Act" or "Charter") and the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") through the adoption and application of certain internal economic impact procedures ("EIPs"), which the Bank uses to assess the economic effects of potential transactions within its broader process of determining whether to approve an application for Bank financing.

Specifically at issue in this action — one of three separate lawsuits brought by Plaintiffs currently pending before this Court — is Plaintiffs' challenge to the facial validity of the Ex-Im Bank's 2013 EIPs and Guidelines, which were adopted [**4]  in November 2012 and became effective on April 1, 2013. The most recent EIPs include, for the first time, specific procedures for analyzing aircraft transactions, whereas prior versions of the EIPs included an "exportable goods screen" that categorically excluded from in-depth economic impact analysis any proposed transaction that would result in the foreign provision of exportable services, such as airline services, rather than the production of an exportable good.

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85 F. Supp. 3d 250 *; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40109 **

DELTA AIR LINES, INC., et al., Plaintiffs, v. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE, UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Related proceeding at Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Export-Import Bank of the United States, 85 F. Supp. 3d 436, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40110 (D.D.C., Mar. 30, 2015)

Related proceeding at Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Export-Import Bank of the United States, 85 F. Supp. 3d 387, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40111 (D.D.C., Mar. 30, 2015)

Prior History: Air Transp. Ass'n of Am., Inc. v. Export-Import Bank of the United States, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152234 (D.D.C., Nov. 16, 2011)

CORE TERMS

Guidelines, airlines, Plaintiffs', financing, Air, injury-in-fact, concrete, ripe, exportable, aircraft, lawsuit, Bank Act, hardship, imminent, competitor, transactions, judicial review, motion to dismiss, procedural right, economic impact, agency's action, redressability, challenges, compete, screen, domestic, planes, financing transaction, alteration, cases

Civil Procedure, Preliminary Considerations, Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Constitutional Law, The Judiciary, Case or Controversy, Standing, Standing, Elements, Ripeness