November 16, 2018

Leverage the new US International Development Finance Corporation to compete with China

By Daniel Kliman

The United States has a unique opportunity to up its game in the global economic competition with China. In early October, even as Democrats and Republicans in the Senate engaged in an unprecedented standoff over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, they quietly came together to pass the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, setting into motion the creation of a new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC). The IDFC holds the potential to significantly boost America’s economic edge against China – if the Trump administration and Congress make the right choices in the coming months.

The stakes could not be higher. In recent years, China has advanced its influence across the developing world under the umbrella of what it calls “One Belt, One Road.” This Belt and Road strategy envisions a world connected by a web of Chinese-funded physical and digital infrastructure. It has involved unprecedented resources: according to independent estimates, around $340 billion from 2014 to 2017.

Marketed as Beijing’s “gift to the world,” the Belt and Road has in fact served to cement China’s status as a global power by creating opportunities for overseas military access and promoting relationships of debt dependency – all while corroding existing international commercial standards and imperiling democracy in some countries.

Read the full article in The Hill.

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