April 06, 2011
In times of fiscal constraint, the U.S. Government should be maximizing those development and policy instruments that don’t require congressional appropriations. Top of this list should be the many private sector tools, such as Overseas Private Investment Corporation. OPIC not only helps to crowd-in private investment and build markets abroad, but it is a net positive for the US budget (the FY11 budget request estimates OPIC will contribute $189 million). Two recent events make it extremely timely for senior policymakers to focus more on how to bolster and get more out of our private sector tools:
- House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), today proposed that President Obama’s international affairs budget request be cut by over 40 percent ($36 billion versus $63 billion). While some of those cuts relate to things like embassy construction, staffing, and other functions; Representative Ryan’s blueprint would slash the development assistance programs. Whatever the final outcome, the aid budget is going to shrink.
- In the recent State of the Union, President Obama pledged to produce a plan to “merge, consolidate, and reorganize” the various federal export promotion agencies. (And here’s Ben’s post on why it would be a mistake to absorb OPIC into this exercise.)
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.