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U.S. Senate Passes BUILD Act To Create New Development Finance Agency

Devex: A new U.S. development finance agency takes flight
“On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, which will create a new U.S. government agency — the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Development experts called it the biggest change in U.S. development policy in 15 years. The DFC will combine the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Development Credit Authority, add new development finance capabilities, including equity authority, and have a higher lending limit than its predecessor…” (Saldinger, 10/4).

Financial Times: U.S. Senate passes $60bn foreign development bill
“The Senate has passed a bill that will create a $60bn agency to invest in developing countries in what has been sold to Donald Trump, the U.S. president, as a way of countering China’s growing global influence. In a rare spirit of bipartisanship, on Wednesday the Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act by 93 votes to 6…” (Pilling/Politi, 10/3).

The Hill: Senate sends FAA authorization to Trump’s desk
“…[A five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization bill] includes the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act, or BUILD Act, which would dramatically increase funding for global development and infrastructure projects. ‘I am thrilled this bill is headed to the president’s desk and I am grateful for the hard work and support of Senator Corker, the administration, and our partners on both sides of the aisle who worked tirelessly to get the BUILD Act across the finish line,’ Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons (Del.), who spearheaded the BUILD Act with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said” (Carney, 10/3).

Reuters: Congress, eying China, votes to overhaul development finance
“…The measure creates a new agency, the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., that consolidates the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) and other government development organizations. Those institutions lend money for projects such as energy, ports, and water infrastructure in developing countries. The White House said in a statement that Congress had taken an important step toward fulfilling Trump’s commitment to reform development finance institutions ‘so that they better incentivize private-sector investment in emerging economies and provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with hidden strings attached’…” (Zengerle, 10/3).