Ben Leo testified before the House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade on July 27, 2011 about the importance of multilateral development banks to the United States and the greater world.
My testimony will focus on three key points:
(1) The multilateral development banks (MDBs) have, and will continue to have, an important role in helping to establish the next generation of emerging markets. The case of India provides an excellent example of how MDB assistance, economic growth, and U.S. support all come together to offer substantial U.S. business opportunities abroad.
(2) The MDBs have diminished the impact of global disruptions in emerging countries – which helps to protect, maintain, and even expand U.S. business activity abroad in times of crisis.
(3) U.S. firms derive sizable direct financial benefits from MDB projects and programs. For example, U.S. firms directly secured over $1.6 billion in World Bank contracts over the last decade. However, indirect financial benefits could be as large, or even larger, than direct procurement awards due to U.S. firms’ extensive usage of third party vendors. Moreover, MDB procurement policies have set the global standard and help to ensure a competitive playing field for U.S companies.