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Subcommittee Approves Multilateral Development Bills

On September 21, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade 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.

During the mark-up, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to H.R. 2871 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.” Under the amendment, which was approved by voice vote, the bank would be required to report to Congress on its progress.

Speaking in support of the amendment, Rep. Lee stated, “Currently, Ex-Im only provides less than one-half of one percent of its loans to women- and minority-owned businesses.”

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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