Bill Introduced to Create New U.S. Development Finance Agency

On February 28, 2018, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress that would create a new, expanded U.S. development finance agency.  The bill, titled the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, would create a new agency called the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation which would replace OPIC and would also take over some functions of USAID.  The bill was introduced simultaneously in the House by Republican and Democratic representatives and in the Senate by Republican and Democratic senators.

The bill would give the new agency additional powers that OPIC does not currently have and would also increase the amount of investment that can be made.  Under the bill, the maximum contingent liability of the new agency would be increased to $29 billion from OPIC’s current cap of $60 billion and would be adjusted regularly based on inflation.  In addition to providing loans and insurance, the new agency would have the power to make equity investments and make grants, neither of which OPIC has authority to do.  The bill would also move USAID’s Development Credit Authority, enterprise funds and Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise into the new agency.

The bill as introduced in the senate is available here.