The Aug. 31 editorial “China’s version of colonialism” was right that the United States needs to be actively promoting a “real alternative” to the Chinese state-directed model that can leave developing countries worse off. Fortunately, the Trump administration is actively working with Congress on a proposal that would do just that.
Now making its way through Congress, the bipartisan Build Act would reform, modernize and consolidate the development finance capabilities of the U.S. government, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. As with OPIC, this new institution would advance private-sector-led development, resulting in projects that adhere to high standards and are financially viable over the long haul. But unlike with the Chinese model, contracts are transparent, governments aren’t loaded with debt they cannot pay and local workers are hired. If passed, the legislation would help countries sidestep 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.
Ray W. Washburne, Washington
The writer is president and chief executive of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.