The BUILD Act at Five Years: A Discussion with Representative Andy Kim
This transcript is from a CSIS event hosted on September 28, 2023. Watch the full video here.
Erin L. Murphy: OK. Hello, everyone, and welcome to CSIS. Welcome to our online guests as well. And today we’re going to join an event and a report launch on “The BUILD Act at Five Years: Key Considerations to Building a Better Development Finance Construct.” It’s pretty clear that this is the most important event that’s happening in Washington this week, so I’m very glad that you’re able to join us.
So the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or the DFC, was created through the 2018 BUILD Act, and the BUILD Act, for anyone who loves acronyms, is the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, and it’s set for reauthorization – the DFC – in 2025. CSIS, with the Economics Program and the Project for Prosperity and Development, took the opportunity to look at the fifth anniversary of the BUILD Act and the reauthorization of the DFC to look at the last five years and see what worked; what didn’t; what is set for improvement; and how can Congress, the administration, and the DFC itself, what can it do to improve and set the DFC on a path in the next seven years.
What the BUILD Act did was to take the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and combine USAID’s development credit authority and set a new mandate for the agency to look at low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries and really focus on highly developmental projects that were commercially viable. It increases spending cap to 60 billion (dollars). It removed a U.S. nexus requirement for foreign investments so that it could do a lot more overseas.
The DFC still faces challenges in meeting its goal due to legacy risk aversion, operational issues, and unrealistic expectations, especially in global infrastructure investment. So our report and our event today is to provide recommendations on how to look at this going forward.
So, again, I say that this is a really important event today; again, probably the most important event in Washington today. But we are joined by keynote speaker and Congressman Andy Kim.
Congressman Andy Kim represents the 3rd Congressional District of New Jersey, and as I’m told by my friends that I’m supposed to refer to this as the great state of New Jersey. (Laughter.) OK, we’ve got that clear. And he assumed office in January 2019. He has held multiple jobs in Washington, D.C., and, you know, if I go through this litany of the jobs that he has held – and anyone who is a Washington type, I don’t know how he’s managed to have a family, raise two young kids, and live in the great state of New Jersey, but he has worked at USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House National Security Council, and in Afghanistan as an adviser to Generals Petraeus and Allen, and he also ran for Congress. While in Congress, he serves on the House Armed Services Committee and also on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, HFAC, which oversees the DFC. On HFAC he’s also on the Subcommittee for Indo-Pacific, which is one focus that we’ll also look at today.
For the congressional priorities for the BUILD Act, he will look at that today in his remarks and we definitely look forward to his comments. So, Congressman, we look forward to your remarks. (Applause.)
Representative Andy Kim: Thank you. Good morning.
Good morning, everyone. Good morning, everyone. (Laughs, laughter.) That look of – thanks for giving me the opportunity. I know there’s going to be a panel that comes later with experts that will be able to go into detail, and I’m sure they’ll be much more eloquent than I am as I’ve been stuck at the Capitol past midnight – (laughs) – the last few days, so I’m going to do my best to just give you some of my thoughts about where things stand right now.
But in particular I wanted to just kind of take a step back and give you a sense of how I approach this issue on the Hill, how we try to think about this as part of that broader context, because right now we know that in this town there’s so much talk about global competitiveness. I hear it all over the place. I hear it in the committees that you mentioned, in Armed Services, Foreign Affairs. I’m also on the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
And this is something where, look, it’s a serious question about what should be America’s posture vis-à-vis China, what should be America’s posture globally at this moment. We know that there’s so much changing. We’re in this new era of global politics. There’s so much changing when it comes to the transformation of technology and where that goes. We see the energy development at this new era moving forward in a(n) extremely fast velocity. And so much question about what happens next with the global supply chains, especially after the pandemic. So all of this makes a lot of sense when we talk about global competitiveness. And I remember having those conversations at USAID, State Department, Pentagon, thinking about this in terms of development, diplomacy, and defense, and how this all fits together.
I think what I try to think through on Capitol Hill is just how is this conversation unfolding. And what I will say is one aspect of that conversation about global competitiveness that isn’t talked about enough on Capitol Hill is about that coalition-building component of it. What does that mean? So much of this is often framed as just, you know, again, the United States and China, and talked about as just a great-power competition in that capacity. And mentions and talk about other countries are often talked about in terms of its usefulness or as sort of, you know, pieces on a board in that broader context, but I think that there’s so much more to it. And I think that that’s why I was really excited about this conversation and this report that I’m looking forward to gleaning and learning from as to help inform us in terms of what to do next.
You know, I guess the way I sort of think about this is that it kind of hints at this broader question of just what kind of partner is America. And I think that that’s something, again, that we kind of lose sight of. And when we look at the Development Finance Corporation, we look at this important tool in our toolbox and one that’s meant to complement that broader horizon and spectrum of different capabilities and different tools such as diplomacy and security. When we look back at the passage of the BUILD Act, an important moment to take stock of is that question of just what is the value that this organization is going to provide. What impact has it had as we look back and what is the potential going forward, and how do we realize that?
You know, when I look at some of the things that have happened, it’s been exciting to see the critical role that it’s played in really unique, different places around the world. You know, 25 million equity investment to provide growth capital to small- and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine; you know, 50 million credit guarantee working with Australia and Japan to help secure digital networks in Papua New Guinea and five other Pacific Island nations to build safe and affordable mobile systems; a partnership with the government of Ecuador and other finance orgs to generate hundreds of millions for marine conservation in the Galapagos; 30 million equity investment in Brazil to support the retrieval of critical minerals needed for EV and solar panels. It gives you just a sense of some of the things that have happened just in the early years of the DFC.
But what you see there is you see geographic diversity, you see a capacity to be able to reach places that sometimes we wonder what are the best tools that we have, but it’s also about some of the priorities that we can push behind this. You know you see that, and that’s what I find really fascinating about this model. And something that I think can be brought out a lot more going forward is this sense of, you know, how does this mesh up with broader priorities about building goals towards more resilient supply chains or securing critical minerals and raw materials? I think there’s a lot of possibility there for this next step of where it’s gone.
You know, we’ve seen that growth. We’ve seen its growth in personnel. We’ve seen its growth in terms of projects. We need to make sure we have the right-sized expectations because of just the youngness of the organization. And, look, we also need to make sure that we’re – if we have big visions for what it can do next, that it’s properly resourced and that Congress does what we need to do to make sure that it is set up to succeed.
But I think that that’s what’s exciting about this moment and that’s why this conversation is so critical. Yes, we have had some initial conversations in Congress – and we can go into it in broader conversations – about, you know, what comes next, but there’s still a lot of room to shape that, still a lot of room to really kind of think through what makes sense and what is the right way to approach it. But the most important thing is that it needs to be part of the conversation. And sometimes – as I said, it’s not always the case – but what we have to recognize, I think we all know, yes, that global competition is important. Yes, the challenge between the United States and China is real and we need to think about what that means. But that doesn’t mean that we only solve these problems through security means or that diplomacy and security are the only things that are available. There’s so much more that we want to get towards.
What I just want to kind of end on here – is I actually just want to kind of go back to that question of what kind of partner is America? And it kind of is something that I’ve been really pondering and meditating this entire year. I had this conversation earlier this year, as we were going through the debt ceiling crisis earlier this year. I had this foreign official give me a ring, just kind of pulse me. And then he asked me. He was like, are you guys really going to default on your debt? Basically, just point blank. And I said, look, I’m going to do everything I can to prevent that from happening, but what I will tell you right now is I don’t know.
And he just kind of – he kind of laughed a little bit on the other side of the of the phone line. And it just – it really stuck with me, because he kind of followed it up and we were talking about it. I’m, like, well, what does this mean for you? How do you – how are you seeing it from your perspective? And he said this line to me. He says, what we are here, and a lot of other countries are asking right now, is this singular question of: Is America a reliable partner? And he said that at that moment, telling me full well that they know the answer to that right now. Which is, the answer is no. America is not a reliable partner in the way that we can and should be.
And that’s something I just think about right now because I’m speaking to you at a similar moment as I was back then to that gentleman. You know, we’re a couple days away from the end of the month. And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know fully what’s about to happen. And I’m going to do everything I humanly can, as a member of Congress and as a former executive branch official who served through multiple shutdowns, to prevent that from happening. But I’m not sure we’re going to be able to pull it off. And therein lies that question. Is America a reliable partner?
And we can talk about these tools, the DFC, and development, diplomacy, and defense, but I just ask you all to just, you know, make sure we take a step back and realize that that’s all happening – when you’re looking from the perspective of other countries – that’s all happening within the backdrop in the context of the broader political situation that the United States is going through. I have to say that we have to do better because so much of America’s global competitiveness is in our own hands. We often talk about it, what is China doing? How do we respond to that? And, yes, there’s room for that conversation. But it’s also about how we set out to do what we want to do, what our vision is, and our ability to move past this chaos, fix our broken politics, and forge an American strength built alongside a powerful global coalition. So that’s what I think we have – are charged to do.
That being said, I do want to thank those that are working at the DFC, that have been working diligently over the last few years to stand up and make it successful, federal government employees at other departments and agencies for being that steady hand at the wheel right now. And I want to apologize to them on behalf of Congress for the dysfunction that we have right now that’s putting people in a position where they may have to very well endure a shutdown in the coming days. As I said, I’ll do everything I can to be able to stop that, but I approach this with a lot of humility. I obviously can’t wave a magic wand.
But it does get to us a broader question of just what can we do to make sure that America is the kind of partner that it needs to be and make sure that these tools that we have are used to the best of their ability? And in order to do that to the maximum, we need to fix our broken politics. Thank you. (Applause.)
Ms. Murphy: Thank you, Congressman. I think you’ve given us a lot to think about. And like I said, there’s nothing going on in Washington this week at all. (Laughter.) But that question about what kind of partner is America, I think that gives us a lot to think about. Domestic politics, foreign policy is all intertwined. And I think, you know, even if we’re in a Washington bubble, what we do here does have impact and it makes the work that we do here, I think, a lot more important in getting that message out and educating.
I note that when I worked at DFC, one thing that we would focus on was that when DFC was OPIC, it was a self-sustaining agency. So it was immune to government shutdowns. I don’t know if that’s the case with DFC, but certainly that’s something that they have to think about, that with government agencies that you can’t disperse money, you can’t think about programming, you have to shut that down. And that really does harm U.S. work overseas.
So putting the government shutdown aside, which I think it’s hard to, for the BUILD Act, again, in a perfect world, what kind of priorities are you looking at in terms of thinking about the – not the mistakes, but things that could make the DFC more agile and flexible, and to be more impactful? What are you looking at in terms of the BUILD Act of things that could be added, or edited, or considered in going forward?
Rep. Kim: Yeah. Just before I get there, you know, you kind of started off by talking about, you know, kind of domestic politics and foreign policy. And I just want to just say real quick, you know, as someone who, you know, worked in the national security space in the executive branch as a career guy before, and then coming into Congress, I don’t think I appreciated when I was in the executive branch how much this distinction between foreign policy and domestic policy actually doesn’t really exist, especially for the American people. You know, everything is very much on the same table.
And I do think it’s important for us to do a better job of articulating why these types of programs are necessary. We see this in a particular manifestation right now about Ukraine funding, for instance. Is that – you know, is that taking money away from the pockets of American families? You know and that kind of conversation there, which I think is riddled with all sorts of falsehoods. But that’s just something I always like to try to challenge sort of the foreign policy community to be thinking about, is just how do we make sure we talk about this in a human way, be able to explain what this means for global leadership and whatnot?
And I think that gets to the question that you’re getting at, because those of us in Congress, when we’re when we’re thinking through this we’re thinking through, how do we justify this? How do we explain to the American people why we should be reauthorizing in a couple years? How does this fit into that broader picture? Because I have colleagues of mine, that literally, you know, basically looked, you know, Samantha Power in the eye at a hearing and told her, you know, if I had the ability to defund your agency, I would. (Laughs.) You know, and say, like, you know, if I had to choose between hard power and soft power any day I’d choose hard power, as if, you know, we had to, which of course we don’t. So there is that kind of question. And how it plays out, how we talk about it, it’s going to determine how successful we are over the course of, you know, the coming months and year or two, as we work towards the reauthorization.
But more technically, to your point. I think there are – you know, we want to set it up for further success. You know, I think everyone’s been feeling like, look, there’s – it’s done some good things, some really interesting and exciting things, it has a lot of potential. I think we need to be careful. I think, you know, it was often talked about as sort of this kind of answer to Belt and Road and things like that. I think it’s set it up for – I think that really set up, at least in the minds of people in Congress, kind of the wrong mentality. I don’t think we should be thinking about America trying to carbon copy what another country is doing. We should be thinking about something that’s uniquely American, suited to our skill sets, our workforce, our priorities, our needs.
And that’s something that I think we can do better on in terms of thinking about, in particular, what types of industry, what types of sectors of work, you know, should we be encouraging or urging the DFC to prioritize? I think there’s also going to be a lot of revisiting in terms of the scope of the countries and the types of countries, both geographic as well as income scale, you know, in terms of what that means. You know, are we hitting the right notes, when we’re thinking about that broader strategic competition? You know, this is a vehicle and a tool that’s – you know, it’s different than USAID. It’s different than, you know, humanitarian assistance-type work. So as a result, you know, are we fine tuning the targeting to the best of our ability?
And, you know, that’s the kind of stuff I’m sure, you know, you’ll get into in the report and conversations. So I’m interested in that. And we certainly have some ideas initially but, as I said, the conversation is still very soft in Congress. There’s still a lot of room to try to, you know, improve, make changes or pivots as needed. But that’s where a lot of the conversation’s been so far.
Ms. Murphy: Great. I just want to point out the congressman has been generous in being open to questions from the audience, so I’m going to ask a few more questions but there is a microphone in the back, so consider some questions. And please, if you do, line up in the back. But we’ll take one or two questions.
I do want to touch on a point that you make in the domestic side of things, but how do you sell something like this to a domestic audience? And that – again, in our Washington bubble of course it makes perfect sense to me why we would promote these investments overseas. When you were talking about what kind of partner is America, how do you sell, you know, why we’re helping promote and invest in a semiconductor industry in Vietnam, that we are building a $500 million solar panel facility in India? How do we sell this to a domestic industry when there’s, you know, need for jobs here and industry building here?
Rep. Kim: Well, the first thing you got to do is you got to talk about it, and that’s something we don’t always do. You know, I think a lot of folks sort of have this kind of mentality that, like, oh, like, you know, voters or citizens are not interested in foreign policy unless there’s, like, a war going on or something like that. And that’s just not the case. You know, some of the – like, I do – I do, like, a townhall every single month, and it gives me kind of a good gauge of how to engage with folks and what’s on their minds. And what I find interesting is that if I proactively start talking about some foreign policy issues, I get a lot of interest. I get a lot of questions back. I think sometimes the broader public might not necessarily know how to start that conversation or feel maybe a little intimidated to start that conversation because they – you know, there’s a lot that they know that they don’t know, but when I kind of approach it with humility and say, hey, look, you know, here are some things that are going on, here are my thoughts about, you know, what we should be doing – whether that’s, you know, Ukraine or the Middle East or elsewhere – people are curious and they want to learn.
That therein lies sort of a second thing, which is we are struggling right now as a country. And part of what I was talking about with that broken politics is we are struggling right now as a country in terms of seeing and understanding that we’re part of something bigger than all of us. You know, this kind of tribalism and factionalization and fragmentation has really impeded our ability to kind of think bigger – and if you’re thinking about foreign policy, you have to talk about and think about us as a unit. And so that’s where we have to kind of get to that next stage. That’s why the healing of the broken politics is so important. We can’t look at foreign policy through partisan lenses. That would just be devastating to our country. Unfortunately, it’s often being couched in that way and the weaponization of partisanship in that capacity is preventing us from being able to engage.
So what I would just say is the way I’ve been able to cut through that is just having that conversation, asking Americans, like, what does American global leadership mean to you. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? Trying to explain and talk to them a little about how some of these types of efforts – I mean, you know, like, whether we’re, like, nerding out talking about Bretton Woods, but then really being able to show that Bretton Woods had a sizeable impact on American families. And, yes, some good, some bad; we can talk through it. But it no doubt had an importance. So understand that institutions matter and that we should be recognizing that they are something that is not meant to hold America back, but instead give America a sense of stability going forward.
And I think that that’s where I will just end this, which is it’s about stability. The vast majority of Americans right now, they just – they just want a good, stable life. They want to feel like they can provide that simple life for their family and be able to engage. And we can talk about foreign policy as a means of stability because often it’s talked about and seen as a means of chaos and a means of major disruption. And so, you know, what do we do to bring that predictability back into people’s lives, bring the stability back into people’s lives? And I think DFC plays a role in – you know, in building these partnerships, creating greater stability in those partnerships, creating less places in the world where we have fault lines that can rupture that can create major disruptions. And I think that that’s hopefully sort of the sense of what I call, like, an architecture of stability globally that we can build that hopefully the American people will understand.
Ms. Murphy: So looking outside of the U.S. and more on the Indo-Pacific, where have you seen DFC’s successes and where would you like to see more work being done?
Rep. Kim: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of interest from other countries as I’ve talked to them, you know, a lot about, like, mobile communication development – that’s been a huge thing, a place where, you know, they’ve been coming and asking what can we do – a lot of cybersecurity and kind of network-development type of work, a lot that I think we can do when it comes to kind of critical mineral supply chains. That’s where a lot of the conversations – a lot of interest from other countries when it comes to, like, health care. That’s one of the biggest things that they come to my office and talk to us about, about, you know, what tools do we have at our disposal – which I know are a number of the different things, whether DFC and other organizations are engaged on. But I think that there is room for that much more in the Indo-Pacific.
Again, sometimes too much of the conversation is solely about, you know, kind of military- and security-related things in the Indo-Pacific. And I think that there’s a concern that I hear from some of our partner nations that they’re like: Hey, look, we get it; that’s important. But you can’t make the entirety of, you know, your Indo-Pacific strategy be about the Taiwan Strait or be about, you know, just this or that. You know, there needs – you need to talk to us like we’re just – not just some, you know, again, piece on your board as you’re thinking it through. Like, treat us with respect, treat us – and show us that you have an interest in us as a nation not just because of our usefulness for something else. So that’s something that I think is really important, not just what we’re talking to them about but how we talk to them and how we treat them I think is going to be really important.
That’s why I think the DFC, you know, it certainly has a role in the global competitiveness, and there’s no doubt some of the framing is there, but it is not the – you know, the – like, the constant, driving way in which we talk about it every single moment. There’s value in innovation. There’s value in working together for economic cooperation in that kind of way in and of itself. That will undoubtedly make America have a stronger foundation in the Indo-Pacific, which will have, you know, repercussions and impacts on other types of priorities. But it isn’t just solely about just this, you know, kind of broader great-power discussion.
Ms. Murphy: Great. We have a question from the audience.
Rep. Kim: Yeah.
Ms. Murphy: If you could please identify yourself.
Q: Hi. My name’s Grace Koh. I’m with Ciena Corporation. We produce electronics equipment that – light fiber and are heavily involved in all sorts of cutting-edge communications networks. Thank you, Congressman, for your leadership and for your time today.
One of the things that I was thinking about as we are – you know, as we’re entering into this effort to reauthorize DFC is, what can we do to engage our allies in order to be able to do co-development? No single nation is going to be able to, I think, take – fix the world, right, on its own. But I think – there’s been a lot of, I think, chatter or – I don’t want to call it chatter – a lot of, I think, initial efforts to try to do more in the way of co-development, but nothing’s really taken off. I think there’s discussions transatlantically in particular, but how do we actually get something to really take root so that there is an effective collaborative effort to change the world in a way that the U.S. and its allies sees fit? Thank you.
Rep. Kim: Well, that’s – so if you don’t mind me asking you just back, I mean, you were saying that it feels like there hasn’t been sort of a good example of that right out of the gate?
Q: I’m thinking specifically in terms of the TTC, the transatlantic tech and trade council. And there is an effort in that particular stream geared at development finance, but – I think they’ve sponsored a few interesting projects but nothing on a grand scale. I’m thinking also of the PGII that was announced at the G-7. That also seems not to have taken off on a scale that I would have imagined that it would have back after its announcement. So I do wonder if there is a way to do something more. I’m not sure what’s stymieing it.
Rep. Kim: Yeah. I mean, I’m kind of intrigued by what you’re saying, too. I mean, that makes sense. I can certainly see the value in that. I think I’d have to – I mean, I’ll be honest with you; this is not a place where I feel like I have the level of depth that I need. But I would love to be – I’d love to try to figure out, like, you know, what, if anything, has worked. Are there models that we can kind of utilize and think through, and just what is the value add beyond just what we’re already doing?
But it does make sense. I mean, we want to – again, as we’re talking about partnerships, there’s that question: What kind of partnerships? Is it just about investment? Or, as you said, can we – is there a place where that kind of co-development type of mentality could happen? I can certainly see how, you know, maybe some test cases with some of our closest partners on a couple of things might be interesting to start. But thanks for raising it to my attention. It’s something I’ll have to dive into deeper on.
Ms. Murphy: OK. Next question.
Q: Thank you, Congressman. I’m Frank Dunlevy. I worked at the DFC from 2018 to 2019. I was counselor to Ray Washburne and David Bohigian as we turned it from the OPIC into the DFC.
The one thing I would recommend is they need more people. It’s the smallest development agency of all the major countries. I was stunned to learn that we were literally one-third the size of the U.K.’s, you know, similar operation. And while some of the employment – or, employees – they’ve added more people with the BUILD Act, those people primarily belong to a bigger ESG group, a larger risk management group, all that are great. But what drives DFC is the people that do the deals.
So I would look to double or triple the number of people in the project finance group in the funds group, in order to, you know, increase our volume. The DFC is great in terms of bipartisan. I think it passed the House 435 to nothing, in the Senate, 93 to six. So it’s got great support, it just needs more people to do what you want it to do. It is your number-one tool for soft power if you use it correctly.
Rep. Kim: Yeah, no, thank you. I appreciate that. Definitely, in terms of scaling, you know, as I mentioned as well, you know, we need to make sure that we’re properly resourcing it. I mean, we’ve seen incredible surges in personnel around – I mean, I think it, you know, doubled in size just in recent time. But you’re right, like, you know, it has a lot more potential, but it’s going to need that kind of resource, both in terms of funding as well as workforce to be able to get there. I think that there’s a recognition of that, at least amongst, you know, some of the folks I’ve talked to, and in a bipartisan way, that the size is something that we have to really consider in order for it to reach that broader potential. I think that there was a real interest in kind of seeing how these first few years go, and kind of assess that, and then be ready, hopefully, to be able to take it to the next step.
So I think that is a mentality that a number of us have on the Foreign Affairs Committee and elsewhere. Hopefully, that’s something that we can follow through on. But I appreciate your recommendation, especially in particular, some of your thoughts of where some of the growth is most necessary, your experience there, and will thank you for your work there. And your experience there lends a lot of credibility to some of that. Thank you. So I appreciate it.
Ms. Murphy: OK, so we only have a couple of minutes left so if we can keep these questions quite short. One and then I think we have two left.
Q: Great. Hi, Rock Cheung, senior advisor at the Embassy of Australia.
Congressman, you talked about tools, plural, for development and development finance. That DFC is really part of a broader ecosystem of agencies, not just a USAID, but U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and a bunch of other agencies.
Rep. Kim: Millennium Challenge and –
Q: Yeah, absolutely, that work in this space. And you also have, of course, allies like Australia and Japan, who are actually working with the United States, have some great models for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific together.
Rep. Kim: And one of the – one of the points that I raised, I think it was the Papua New Guinea one, was in partnership with Australia.
Q: Yes, absolutely. And great that you’re aware of this.
The question I have for you is, as you’re looking at BUILD Act reauthorization, are you and others in Congress just focused on just DFC? Or are you looking at it as an opportunity to look at the broader ecosystem to figure out how do we get these pieces of the U.S. agency and our allies to work – to interoperate better together in ways that we haven’t, to be able to address these challenges that we’re facing? Thank you.
Rep. Kim: Yeah. No, thank you for that. You hit the nail on the head. A lot of what we are trying to get a sense of in terms of how these first few years have gone is about its interactions with other elements of the government, how is that working or not. You know, the way in which the board was sort of set up was intentional to try to encourage and create that kind of capacity, whether State Department and elsewhere, so that it’s recognized as a, you know, coordinated component within the broader space.
You know, I’d like to just kind of, you know, get further thoughts. And I think we’ll be engaged in the process through hearings and other means to try to determine, you know, how successful has that been? You know, is this working? Is it not? Look, I mean, many of us in this room, we’ve worked in government. You know, we talk a good game sometimes about interagency and things like that. But we always know that it doesn’t always work, right? It doesn’t always work in the way that we want to. Just having people have, you know, an interagency meeting once a week or so doesn’t necessarily mean that you are working hand in hand.
So I’d be interested in getting a sense. I know that there is, you know, strong communication through, but we also know that, you know, look, bureaucracies are challenging. I’ve worked in multiples of them. Sometimes it’s difficult, especially for new organization to kind of find its footing. So that’s certainly something that I’ll be looking at. Your comments are very well taken and something we should make sure we’re engaged in.
And then beyond that, look, I think it would behoove us and be important for us in Congress to talk to partner countries like Australia and others to get your perspective on what it looks like from your end, especially on things that we partner with, you know, the things that we can be doing that you might see from your end, and I think that that would be really valuable insight. So thank you for saying that.
Q: I’m Becky Fraser with Qualcomm. Thank you for your leadership and for the focus that you’re bringing to this issue.
You know, building on a couple of your questions around is it working and the – kind of the shifting focus in various sectors, I’d just highlight bringing both of those questions to the private sector role and engagement, in working with the entire suite of U.S. development financing tools, and asking, is it working? Is it bringing the private sector tools, the private sector companies to the table ready to partner? And from – you know, from experience with talking through multiple U.S. companies about this, you know, the tools that are being used and the terms and conditions and things were – worked prior, but now as we look at going forward as to how to partner differently, how to bring a focus to many of the sectors that you spoke about – supply chain resiliency, critical minerals, communications – you know, I’d be interested in your thoughts as to how – what is the role of the private sector going forward and whether there’s an opportunity to kind of ask whether it’s time to look at making some of the partnerships more viable for the private sector to come to the table.
Rep. Kim: Yeah. Really, really interesting thoughts there. And something that I think we – you know, we’re not as good at, you know, when it comes to this at this point – and, you know, there’s a lot of conversation right now in that broader context of that global competitiveness that I talked about, just like, you know, where is the United States trying to go? But what we recognize is that, you know, a lot of what the government can and should be doing, you know, in that broader pursuit is about trying to support, you know, market development and innovation growth and things like that, you know, that it’s not that the government’s – you know, for instance, whether it’s the CHIPS and Science Act or the Inflation Reduction Act, these are tools that we use that we’re trying to help, you know, energize new markets, try to bring things to the broader consumers, trying to make sure that these industries that we deem critical have the kind of workforce that is needed to be able to propel them going forward, secure the supply chains, the minerals, and work with industry to do so. But if we’re not talking hand in hand with industry and private sector, you know, we might be missing the mark.
And I know that, you know, as I talk to folks about, you know, the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS and Science, you know, there are some things that we got right, there are some things we could have done better on in terms of, again, just kind of more directly targeting that. So what you’re saying makes sense a lot. I mean, how do we, again, try to align these types of things? When we talk about all the tools in our toolbox we do need to make sure we’re not just talking about organizations that end with dot gov. You know, like, it is a lot more at our disposal. And that’s what makes the United States particularly powerful in terms of our capacities. You know, when we’re talking about global challenge, especially, you know, again, the main one that people talk about in terms of the United States and China, like, a lot of our competitive advantage is our private sector, our innovation, our capacity to be able to grow in that way. If we’re not bringing folks into the – you know, to the table to help inform as well as think through, you know, we’re definitely not going to be firing on all cylinders.
So your point is very well taken. I appreciate that.
Ms. Murphy: All right. Thanks, everyone. Join me in thanking the congressman for his generous time. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much.