Haitian-American Enterprise Fund Act

Bill Number: 
S. 3202
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Relevant Text: 

Haitian-American Enterprise Fund Act (Introduced in Senate)

S 3202 IS

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3202

To promote the strengthening of the Haitian private sector.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 14, 2010

Mr. LUGAR (for himself and Mr. LEAHY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To promote the strengthening of the Haitian private sector.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Haitian-American Enterprise Fund Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) The 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010--
        (A) was Haiti's worst natural catastrophe in 200 years;

        (B) caused the deaths of more than 200,000 people;

        (C) destroyed 105,000 homes, 50 hospitals and health centers, and 1,300 school and university buildings; and

        (D) significantly damaged the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, and most of the other government buildings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

      (2) Even before the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with--
        (A) 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line;

        (B) 54 percent of the population in abject poverty; and

        (C) more than 2/3 of the labor force believed to lack formal employment.

      (3) Although Haiti's per capita gross domestic product is among the world's lowest, positive economic growth trends were slowly emerging before the earthquake and Haiti was 1 of 2 Caribbean countries expected to experience positive economic growth in 2009.
      (4) At a March 2010 meeting convened in Haiti by the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations, which brought together Haitian government and private sector leaders to discuss the country's most critical needs, meeting participants agreed that 2 critical catalysts for creating potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs are--

        (A) modernizing Haitian policies and infrastructure; and

        (B) improving the flow of foreign private investment into Haiti .

      (5) In section 201(b)(1) of the Support for East European Democracy Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-279; 22 U.S.C. 5421), Congress authorized USAID to provide a grant of $240,000,000 to the Polish-American Enterprise Fund (referred to in this section as the `Polish Fund'), which was organized and incorporated on April 27, 1990.
      (6) The Polish Fund--

        (A) used the USAID grant to raise $2,300,000,000 in private funds for investment in Poland; and

        (B) used the reflows from the USAID grant to establish the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, whose endowment exceeds $250,000,000.

      (7) The success of the Polish Fund in attracting private investment to Poland and in creating a legacy foundation from its reflows represents a useful model for other Enterprise Funds.

      (8) Enterprise Funds have enjoyed success in poorer and less developed countries, such as Albania, where the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund played a pivotal role in helping to develop the banking sector, privatizing and modernizing the airport, and expanding access to international trade and investment.

      (9) Enterprise Funds in Albania, the Baltic States, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and other countries have created and supported programs that have contributed to the growth of an entrepreneurial middle class.
      (10) A professional and well-managed Haitian-American Enterprise Fund, drawing upon the experience of members of the Boards of Directors of prior Enterprise Funds, could achieve similar success.

      (11) The programs run by the Enterprise Funds in other countries, which could also be run in Haiti , include microloans, carefully designed and monitored mortgage programs, and small business loans that would create the infrastructure and investment climate needed to begin to build an entrepreneurial middle class in Haiti .

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
      (1) to promote the Haitian private sector, including small businesses, the agricultural sector, and joint ventures with United States and Haitian participants; and

      (2) to promote policies and practices conducive to the private sector in Haiti through loans, grants, equity investments, feasibility studies, technical assistance, training, insurance, guarantees, and other measures.

SEC. 4. HAITIAN-AMERICAN ENTERPRISE FUND.

    (a) Designation- The President is authorized to designate a private, nonprofit organization to receive funds and support made available under this Act after determining that such organization has been established for the purposes specified in section 3. The President should make such designation only after consultation with the leadership of each House of Congress. The organization designated under this subsection shall be known as the `Haitian-American Enterprise Fund'.

    (b) Board of Directors-
      (1) APPOINTMENT- The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund shall be governed by a Board of Directors, which shall be comprised of 7 private citizens of the United States or Haiti , appointed by the President, of which not more than 3 may be citizens of Haiti or United States citizens of Haitian descent.

      (2) QUALIFICATIONS- Member of the Board of Directors shall be selected from among people who have had successful business careers in private equity, banking, or finance that is similar to the experience of individuals who previously served on the Board of Directors of a successful Enterprise Fund established by the United States Government on or after January 1, 1990.

      (3) ADDITIONAL BOARD MEMBERS- Upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors, the President may appoint up to 2 additional members to the Board (beyond the number of Directors specified in paragraph (1)), of which not more than 1 may be a citizen of Haiti or a United States citizen of Haitian descent.
    (c) Grants-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Amounts appropriated to the President pursuant to section 8 shall be granted to the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund by the United States Agency for International Development to enable the Fund to carry out the purposes specified in section 3 and for the administrative expenses of the Fund.

      (2) ELIGIBLE PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS- Grants awarded under this section may only be used for programs and projects that support the purposes set forth in section 3.

      (3) COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENT-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Grants may not be awarded to the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund under this section unless the Fund agrees to comply with the requirements under this section.

        (B) GRANT AGREEMENT- The grant agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (`USAID') and the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund shall state that the Fund shall liquidate its assets and dissolve not later than December 31, 2020, unless the USAID Administrator determines, after consultation with the appropriate congressional committees, that the Fund should be extended.
        (C) DISPOSITION OF ASSETS- All assets of the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund at the time the Fund is dissolved shall be used by the Board of Directors to organize and endow a follow-on United States-Haitian legacy foundation.

    (d) Notification-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 15 days before designating an organization to operate as the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund pursuant to subsection (a), the President shall provide the information described in paragraph (2) to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the appropriate congressional committees.

      (2) INFORMATION- The information described in this paragraph is--

        (A) the identity of the organization to be designated to operate as the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund pursuant to subsection (a); and

        (B) the names and qualifications of the individuals who will comprise the Initial Board.
    (e) Defined Term- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--

      (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

      (2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

      (3) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

      (4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 5. OPERATION PROVISIONS.

    (a) Applicable Provisions- Subsections (d)(5), (g), (h), (i), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), and (p) of section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-179; 22 U.S.C. 5421) shall apply with respect to the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund in the same manner as such provisions apply to Enterprise Funds designated pursuant to subsection (d) of such section.

    (b) Reinvestment- Returns on investments of the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund and other payments to the Fund may be reinvested in projects carried out by the Fund without further appropriation by Congress.

SEC. 6. BEST PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES.

    To the maximum extent practicable, the Board of Directors of the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund should adopt the best practices and procedures used by Enterprise Funds, including those for which funding has been made available pursuant to section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-179; 22 U.S.C. 5421).

SEC. 7. EXPERIENCE OF OTHER ENTERPRISE FUNDS.

    In implementing this Act, the President shall ensure that the Articles of Incorporation of the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund (including provisions specifying the responsibilities of the Board of Directors of the Fund), the terms of United States Government grant agreements with the Fund, and United States Government oversight of the Fund are, to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the Articles of Incorporation of, the terms of grant agreements with, and the oversight of the Enterprise Funds established pursuant to section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421) and comparable provisions of law.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General- There are authorized to be appropriated to the President $100,000,000, which shall be used to provide funding for grants to the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund, which shall be used for the purposes specified in section 3.

    (b) Availability of Funds- Amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall remain available until expended.

    (c) Nonapplicability of Other Laws- Amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) may be used to carry out this Act notwithstanding any other provision of law.