WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2018 – Yesterday evening, the U.S. Senate passed the African Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Act Modernization Act (AGOA and MCA Modernization Act, HR 3445), which will enable the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to make cross-border, regional investments to promote economic growth, maximize poverty reduction, and facilitate trade and investment. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed identical legislation on January 17.
Following the passage of the legislation in the U.S. Senate, MCC Acting CEO Jonathan Nash released the following statement:
“Passage of this bill in the Senate is a crucial step toward maximizing the impact of MCC’s work, and generating greater returns on our investments.
Opening new cross-border opportunities will drive private sector-led economic growth, reduce global poverty, and support larger and more integrated markets for trade and investment. Together with MCC’s commitment to evidence-based selection and accountability, this new authority will deepen MCC’s ability to strengthen global stability and U.S. national security, while increasing opportunities for American businesses.
I want to thank Senators Chris Coons, Johnny Isakson, and Ben Cardin, and Representatives Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Karen Bass, and Chris Smith for their leadership as original co-sponsors on this legislation. We also thank the many Members of Congress who have supported this legislation over the years.”
Senator Mike Johanns, member of MCC’s Board of Directors, made the following statement:
“The ability to make cross-border, regional investments is an important new tool to increase MCC’s impact, and as a member of MCC’s Board of Directors I want to thank Congress for moving this legislation forward.
I’ve seen firsthand MCC’s ability to spur economic growth. With this new authority MCC will be able to apply its rigorous, data-driven model to help expand markets, increase trade, and foster greater impact through economies of scale. After the bill is signed into law, I look forward to working with MCC and my fellow Board members to put this authority into action.”
Since MCC’s creation in 2004, the agency has signed 35 compacts with 29 countries around the world worth more than $12 billion. These compacts are expected to benefit about 175 million people. MCC partners must meet rigorous standards for good governance as evaluated on MCC’s scorecard, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. MCC works closely with the private sector to leverage expertise and incentivize policy reforms that open up market opportunities.
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The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to poor countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.