Legislation to Promote U.S. Business Investment in Developing Countries and Save Taxpayers $20 Million
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today praised House of Representative’s passage of The Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act of 2018 (BUILD Act) as part of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With strong support in Congress, from the administration, and among key stakeholders, the BUILD Act, coauthored by Corker and Coons in the Senate, will promote economic growth in developing countries through U.S. business investment while saving taxpayers $20 million.
“Stimulating U.S. business investment in the developing world can create tremendous opportunities for economic growth, both here at home and abroad, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars in the process,” said Corker. “Our legislation will advance American interests for stability abroad by using the free-market to help countries become more self-reliant and put U.S. foreign aid programs out of business. Thanks to strong support from the administration, in both houses of Congress, and among businesses and nongovernmental organizations, this transformative effort is another step closer to becoming a reality.”
“Today, we are one step closer to creating a 21st century development finance institution that will help bring people out of poverty throughout the developing world, while helping U.S. businesses grow and succeed,” said Coons. “At a time when our politics are divided, I’m pleased we’ve been able to work together with the Trump Administration and Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate to advance the BUILD Act to this point, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues until it becomes law.”
The BUILD Act will create the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), assuming the activities of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), USAID’s Development Credit Authority, USAID’s Enterprise Funds, and other programs.
The IDFC will have the authority to: issue direct loans, including local currency loans; issue guaranties, including local currency guaranties; provide political risk insurance; fund first losses; participate in equity investments; provide technical assistance; make limited grants to unlock larger investments; and attract private sector talent.
The IDFC will prioritize support for projects in low and lower middle-income countries where it furthers U.S. national security and economic interests and where the project can be shown to have a demonstrable development outcome.
Congress will maintain oversight of the IDFC by reviewing the agency’s public reports on its development impact and through independent audits and the establishment of an inspector general in the corporation.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the act will decrease direct federal spending by $20 million over ten years.