WASHINGTON - The United States has created a new agency to promote development around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Latin America.
David Bohigian, acting president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, said an agency known as the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation will start operating on Oct. 1st.
In addition to loans, loan guarantees and political risk insurance, DFC will have the authority to make limited equity investments with a $60 billion cap.
Specifically, the U.S. expects to double its financing in the Western Hemisphere to $12 billion.
A statement on OPIC's website said: "DFC will help countries sidestep opaque and unsustainable debt traps being laid by Beijing throughout the developing world and help more American businesses invest in emerging markets, including many places that are of key strategic importance to the United States."
Chinese state banks have financed development projects in Latin America for $14 billion since President Donald Trump took office, according to a database jointly run by the Inter-American Dialogue and the Global China Initiative at Boston University's Global Development Policy Center.
But Bohigian told reporters it is a mistake to look only at government-to-government money because the United States is the main source of the $237 billion Latin America received in direct foreign investment as recently as 2017.
"Private sector investments from the United States far outstrips" the funds provided by the Chinese government, he said.