We’re already a few weeks into the new fiscal year, but nevertheless it’s good to see the House Foreign Affairs Committee has plans to delve into the FY2022 budget request for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), alongside the requests for DFC and the Peace Corps. Looking only at the topline figure, MCC appears to fare well this year, coming in at $912 million. This is the highest request since FY2017 and equal to last year’s enacted level. But that topline belies a major recission of $515 million in unobligated prior year funds, which could have real implications for the agency’s operations now and in the future.
CGD Policy Blogs
With COP26 only weeks away, policymakers around the world are focusing renewed attention on the climate crisis—and the US Congress is no exception. An upcoming House Foreign Affairs hearing, convened jointly by the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact and the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber, will profile US plans to combat climate change through development assistance.
After a lengthy review of the Trump administration’s trade policy toward China, the Biden administration unveiled its approach on October 4th. It is the conclusion of the Biden administration that structural inequities in trade relations remain, and that China is not compliant with Phase I of the agreement it reached with the Trump administration. The American position, as outlined by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, carries implications for African economies.
The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has been operating for less than two years, and already some lawmakers are keen to expand its mandate. On the one hand, it’s good to see such appreciation for the tools of development finance. On the other, we share deep misgivings about proposals that would authorize—and even encourage—DFC investment in upper-middle-income and high-income countries absent a strong developmental objective or justification.
In the 117th Congress, US lawmakers have introduced four separate proposals to establish a national development bank. Three would set up national green finance institutions; the fourth would focus more broadly on providing public financing for high-tech domestic manufacturing, including green technology. (A version of the National Climate Bank proposal—or “Clean Energy Accelerator”—could soon come to the House floor as part of the Democratic budget reconciliation measure).
The global COVID response effort has been in desperate need of a shot in the arm. Yesterday’s US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, aimed to provide just that. Here are a few of the highlights, and what was missing.
Next week, Atul Gawande, the prominent author, surgeon, researcher, and—most recently—presidential nominee to lead USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his nomination hearing to serve as Assistant Administrator.
Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States
The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start. Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.
If your toolbox is overflowing with precision guided munitions, the problems you will focus on are ones that (arguably) can be solved with precision guided munitions. Our comparatively tepid response to the pandemic is another sign of the longstanding and excessive prioritization of potential violent over present nonviolent threats to national security.
"The fight against COVID-19 is a global war but policymakers are not behaving accordingly. As a result... the scars will haunt our international relations for years to come."