OPIC President and CEO Washburne Statement as BUILD Act Heads to President's Desk
October 3, 2018
Legislation to strengthen U.S. development finance passes Senate
WASHINGTON D.C. – Ray W. Washburne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution (DFI), issued the following statement today after the Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018, sending the legislation to the President’s desk:
“This is a major milestone that will advance United States’ engagement in the developing world. The BUILD Act recognizes that private sector-led investment is essential to economic growth and development and offers a financially-sound alternative to the state-directed initiatives pursued by China that have left many developing countries deep in debt.
“Thanks to wide bipartisan support in Congress, the Administration’s plan to create a reformed, modern U.S. development finance institution– with 21st century tools – is set to be signed into law. This is a remarkable achievement that promises lasting impact for decades to come."
In July, the BUILD Act passed the House of Representatives as a standalone piece of legislation (H.R. 5105) by voice-vote. The BUILD Act was incorporated into H.R. 302, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which passed the House last week by a vote of 398-23. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 93-6. The BUILD Act was introduced by Congressmen Ted Yoho and Adam Smith and Senators Bob Corker and Chris Coons in February.
If signed by the President, OPIC would enter into a transition period. During this several month transition period, the Administration would put forward a reorganization plan to transfer agencies, personnel, assets, and obligations to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Normal OPIC business operations would continue during this transition period.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.