WASHINGTON D.C. — In February 2018, Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL-3) introduced the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act. Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA-9), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) were also involved in the creation and introduction of the bill. Thus, the BUILD Act is a bipartisan effort to reform the United States’ foreign aid methods.
The BUILD Act is different from most foreign aid initiatives that the U.S. has proposed in the past, largely due to its focus on investment and its positive impacts on the U.S. economy.
What Is the BUILD Act?
The BUILD Act is legislation that will merge several federal agencies and programs into the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The goal of this unification is to change the focus from foreign aid to foreign investment. This means that rather than simply supplying money to developing nations, the U.S. will be investing in developing markets through its private businesses.
What Are the Expected Impacts of the BUILD Act?
This legislation will increase the rate of U.S. corporations and businesses investing in developing countries. These investments will bring great improvements to the economies and standards of living for those in developing countries, as well as infrastructure development, job creation and increased quality of life for many impoverished people all over the world.
How Is the BUILD Act Different from Foreign Aid?
While this legislation will work to have similar impacts to foreign aid, one of the key differences is that the BUILD Act focuses on investments rather than donations. While foreign aid makes huge strides in assisting developing countries continuously, investment can be a long-lasting way to build developing countries’ economies rather than giving out money or resources. This allows the nation to develop its own markets and jobs, which leads to long-term prosperity. In the long term, investments see a lower dependency rate and higher rates of continual, independent progress.
How Will the BUILD Act Benefit the U.S. Economy?
The BUILD Act will help to form a symbiosis between the U.S. and the countries it invests in. American businesses will become directly involved in developing countries through loans and grants for projects that will improve communities. This will lead to the privatization of foreign aid and employ contractors, laborers and others to work in these developing countries.
How Does the BUILD Act Help Private Businesses?
Prior to the introduction of the BUILD Act, private businesses were often unable to invest in developing countries due to the necessity of receiving grants and loans in order to start these projects, which often posed huge economic risks to American businesses. However, the BUILD Act creates a way for businesses to receive this money through the DFC, which is specifically designed for granting loans and other financial investments to American businesses. This will allow them to start and continue to do good work in developing countries.
What Are the Long-Term Effects on the U.S. Economy?
The BUILD Act will function as a free market alternative to foreign aid. This means that American businesses will be encouraged to invest in foreign aid as a way to make a profit and expand their business internationally. This will create thousands of U.S. jobs as new positions open up in businesses that wish to start projects overseas. Additionally, as U.S. businesses gain a higher standing in foreign markets, American builders and developers will need to be employed to create new overseas offices and housing for the influx of employees.
The BUILD Act is a step in the right direction for the U.S. economy, while also functioning to decrease global poverty and hunger. The act functions to maintain and develop the free market into foreign aid ventures, while also finding solutions to international devastation. This bipartisan bill holds a lot of hope for Americans as well as for the fate of developing nations.
– Theresa Marino
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