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Committee Approves Multilateral Development Banks

On October 31, the House Financial Services Committee approved, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 2871) to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for four years and a bill (H.R. 2604) to reauthorize U.S. participation in multilateral development organizations.

H.R. 2871 includes a provision that would require the Export-Import Bank to place an emphasis on “conducting outreach and increasing loans to businesses not less than 51 percent of which are directly and unconditionally owned by 1 or more socially disadvantaged individuals or women.” The provision, authored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and approved by the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade, would require the bank to report to Congress on its progress.

In addition, H.R. 2871 would authorize $2 million in FY2002 for outreach to small businesses and includes a sense of Congress emphasizing the importance of technology improvements for small businesses. H.R. 2871 also would require the bank to “implement technology improvements which are designed to improve small business outreach.”

H.R. 2604 would authorize a $412 million contribution to the Asian Development Fund and a $30 million contribution to the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The bill also would authorize U.S. participation in several other regional multilateral development banks.

The bill includes a provision to fight HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases by requiring the U.S. executive directors of multilateral banks to support efforts by the banks to develop and implement a strategic plan to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases.

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