| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1993 (rh) To reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...
H.R. 1993 (rh) To reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...
Calendar No. 317 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1993 _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ October 14, 1999 Received; read twice and placed on the calendar Calendar No. 317 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1993 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 14, 1999 Received; read twice and placed on the calendar _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Export Enhancement Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress makes the following findings: (1) Since it began operations in 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (in this Act referred to as ``OPIC'') has sold investment services and mobilized private sector resources to assist developing countries and emerging democracies in the transition from nonmarket to market economies. (2) In an era of declining Federal budgetary resources, OPIC has consistently demonstrated an ability to operate on a self-sustaining basis to support United States companies and promote economic reform in emerging economies in Africa, the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, Latin America, and the Caribbean. (3) OPIC has played an important role in reinforcing United States foreign policy goals and in strengthening the United States economy by creating jobs and promoting exports. (4) Over the past 28 years, projects supported by OPIC have generated over $58,000,000,000 in United States exports, mobilized $121,000,000,000 of United States private sector investment, and created more than 237,000 United States jobs. (5) OPIC has been run on a sound financial basis with reserves totaling approximately $3,300,000,000 and with an estimated net budget contribution to the international affairs account of some $204,000,000 in fiscal year 2000. (6) OPIC has maintained a claims recovery rate of 95 percent, settling 254 insurance claims for $541,000,000 and recovering all but $29,000,000 since 1971. (7) OPIC programs have served to rectify market failures, including limited market information in developing countries and underdeveloped capital markets, by insuring United States firms against economic and market uncertainties. (8) The Trade and Development Agency (in this Act referred to as ``TDA'') promotes United States business involvement in infrastructure projects in developing and middle income countries. (9) TDA has generated $12,300,000,000 in exports since its inception, with every $1 in spending for TDA projects leading to the sale of $32 in United States goods and services overseas. (10) The United States and Foreign Commercial Service (in this Act referred to as the ``Commercial Service'') plays an important role in helping United States businesses identify export opportunities and develop reliable sources of information on commercial prospects in foreign countries. (11) The Congress has, on several occasions, encouraged the Commercial Service to focus its resources and efforts in countries or regions in Europe and Asia to promote greater United States export activity in those markets. (12) The Congress supports the expansion of the Rural Export Initiative by the International Trade Administration (in this Act referred to as the ``ITA'') of the Department of Commerce, particularly those elements related to the use of information technology and electronic commerce techniques. (13) The Congress is encouraged by the success of the Market Access and Compliance Unit of the ITA and supports the Unit's efforts to develop mobile teams to resolve market access problems and ensure compliance by United States trading partners with trade agreements and commitments. (14) The Congress acknowledges the demands upon the Market Access and Compliance Unit of the ITA and recommends that priority be given to funding for this unit to ensure that adequate resources are available for it to fully implement its mission. SEC. 3. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS. The Congress makes the following declarations: (1) OPIC should set its fees at levels sufficient to cover all operating costs, repay any subsidy appropriations, and set aside adequate reserves against future losses. (2) OPIC should maintain a conservative ratio of reserves to contingent liabilities and limit its obligations in any one country in its worldwide finance or insurance portfolio. (3) Projects supported by OPIC should not displace commercial finance or insurance offerings and should encourage private sector financing and insurance participation. (4) Independent auditors should report annually to the Congress on the level of OPIC's reserves in relation to its liabilities and provide an analysis of the trends in the levels of reserves and liabilities and the composition of its insurance and finance portfolios, including OPIC's investment funds. (5) OPIC should double the dollar value of its support for small businesses over the next 4 years. (6) In administering the programs and activities of the ITA, the Secretary of Commerce should give particular emphasis to obtaining market access for United States firms and to securing full compliance with bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. (7) The ITA should facilitate the entrance of United States businesses into the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. (8) The Commercial Service, within the ITA, should consider expanding its presence in urban areas and in urban enterprise areas. (9) OPIC must address concerns that it does not promptly dispose of legitimate claims brought with respect to projects insured or guaranteed by OPIC. The Congress understands the desire of OPIC to explore all possible arrangements with foreign parties. However, OPIC must be aware that private parties with legitimate claims face financial obligations that cannot be deferred indefinitely. SEC. 4. OPIC ISSUING AUTHORITY. Section 235(a)(2) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2195(a)(3)) is amended by striking ``1999'' and inserting ``2003''. SEC. 5. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF OPIC PROGRAMS. (a) Additional Requirements.--Section 231A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2191a) is amended-- (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection: ``(b) Environmental Impact.-- ``(1) Environmental assessment or audit.--The Board of Directors of the Corporation shall not vote in favor of any action proposed to be taken by the Corporation that is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented, unless for at least 60 days before the date of the vote-- ``(A) an environmental impact assessment or initial environmental audit, analyzing the environmental impacts of the proposed action and of alternatives to the proposed action has been completed by the project applicant and made available to the Board of Directors; and ``(B) such assessment or audit has been made available to the public of the United States, locally affected groups in the host country, and host country nongovernmental organizations. ``(2) Discussions with board members.--Prior to any decision by the Corporation regarding insurance, reinsurance, guarantees, or financing for any project, the President of the Corporation or the President's designee shall meet with at least one member of the public who is representative of individuals who have concerns regarding any significant adverse environmental impact of that project. ``(3) Consideration at board meetings.--In making its decisions regarding insurance, reinsurance, guarantees, or financing for any project, the Board of Directors shall fully take into account any recommendations made by other interested Federal agencies, interested members of the public, locally affected groups in the host country, and host country nongovernmental organizations with respect to the assessment or audit described in paragraph (1) or any other matter related to the environmental effects of the proposed support to be provided by the Corporation for the project.''; and (3) in subsection (c), as so redesignated, by striking ``each year'' and inserting ``every 6 months''. (b) Study on Process for OPIC Assistance.--The Inspector General of the Agency for International Development shall review OPIC's procedures for undertaking to conduct financing, insurance, and reinsurance operations in order to determine whether OPIC receives sufficient information from project applicants, agencies of the United States Government, and members of the public of the United States and other countries on the environmental impact of investments insured, reinsured, or financed by OPIC. Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General shall report to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on the results of its review. The report shall include-- (1) recommendations for ways in which the views of the public could be better reflected in OPIC's procedures; (2) recommendations for what additional information should be required of project applicants; and (3) recommendations for environmental standards that should be used by OPIC in conducting its financing, insurance, and reinsurance operations. (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. SEC. 6. PROHIBITION ON OPIC FUNDING FOR FOREIGN MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES. Section 231 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (21 U.S.C. 2191) is amended by adding at the end the following flush sentence: ``In addition, the Corporation shall decline to issue any contract of insurance or reinsurance, or any guaranty, or to enter into any agreement to provide financing for an eligible investor's investment if the investment is to be made in a manufacturing enterprise in a foreign country, if such investment would cause a reduction in manufacturing in the United States.''. SEC. 7. REVIEW OF CLAIMS PROCESSING FOR OPIC. The General Accounting Office is requested to provide a report not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act to the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, which reviews the claims activity of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The report shall include-- (1) an analysis of claims paid, settled and denied by OPIC; (2) the number of claims determinations made by OPIC which are challenged in arbitration; (3) the number of OPIC's claims denials which are reversed in arbitration; (4) the number of claims which are withdrawn; and (5) recommendations for ways in which the interests of OPIC insureds and the public could be better served by OPIC's claims procedures. SEC. 8. RESTRICTION ON CONTACTS RELATING TO OPIC CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS. (a) Publication of Federal Agency Interventions.--Section 237(i) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2197(i)) is amended-- (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(i)''; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``(2) No other department or agency of the United States, or officer or employee thereof, may intervene with the intent to impede or delay in any pending settlement determination on any claim arising as a result of insurance, reinsurance, or guaranty operations under this title or under predecessor guaranty authority unless such intervention is published in the Federal Register. ``(3) The Corporation shall report to the Congress on any intervention, with the intent to impede to delay a settlement determination by any other department or agency of the United States, or officer or employee thereof, regarding the timing or settlement of any claim arising as a result of insurance, reinsurance, or guaranty operations under this title or under predecessor guaranty authority. The report shall be submitted within 30 days after the intervention is made.''. SEC. 9. TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY. (a) Purpose.--Section 661(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2421(a)) is amended by inserting before the period at the end of the second sentence the following: ``, with special emphasis on economic sectors with significant United States export potential, such as energy, transportation, telecommunications, and environment''. (b) Contributions of Costs.--Section 661(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2421(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(5) Contributions to costs.--The Trade and Development Agency shall, to the maximum extent practicable, require corporations and other entities to-- ``(A) share the costs of feasibility studies and other project planning services funded under this section; and ``(B) reimburse the Trade and Development Agency those funds provided under this section, if the corporation or entity concerned succeeds in project implementation.''. (c) Funding.--Section 661(f) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2421(f)) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1)(A) by striking ``$77,000,000'' and all that follows through ``1996'' and inserting ``$48,000,000 for fiscal year 2000 and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter''; and (2) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``in fiscal years''
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