OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield’s statement on the American Jobs Act
Last night, President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act, a collection of bipartisan strategies that will put more Americans back to work, in part by providing incentives for small businesses to hire and grow. I applaud this move, which will accelerate the growth of the U.S. economy, and help us weather some of the economic headwinds we’ve encountered in recent years.
The American Jobs Act is founded on a simple proposition and one that we apply every day at OPIC – that small businesses are the engine of economic growth. Whether in emerging markets or the United States, small businesses are critical to creating jobs and growing the economy. As the U.S. government’s development finance institution, OPIC has been charged with catalyzing economic growth and international development with the same type of essential public private partnership – one that provides the private sector and particularly small businesses with the financial support and incentives they need.
We’re proud at OPIC that in addition to achieving our core mission of supporting international development and U.S. government foreign policy, we can also play our part in supporting economic recovery in the United States. Through our financing and political risk insurance we’re able to support U.S. small businesses investing in and exporting to the more than 150 emerging countries. More than 86 percent of our transactions support American small businesses. By helping American small businesses participate in these markets, OPIC helps them grow and create jobs at home. And we do all of this while returning a profit to the U.S. taxpayer.
As the American people know, our economic crisis was not created overnight and it won’t be solved overnight. But the American Jobs Act and President Obama’s innovative and sensible proposals will lay the foundation for broad-based recovery and growth by giving everyday working Americans what they most need: a job.