President Trump, seeking to counter China’s growing geopolitical influence, is embracing a major expansion of foreign aid that will bankroll infrastructure projects in Africa, Asia and the Americas — throwing his support behind an initiative he once sought to scuttle.
With little fanfare, Mr. Trump signed a bill a little over a week ago that created a new foreign aid agency — the United States International Development Finance Corporation — and gave it authority to provide $60 billion in loans, loan guarantees and insurance to companies willing to do business in developing nations.
The new $60 billion aid program was tucked into a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and its passage was the product of a quiet, bipartisan effort. It included ONE, the Brookings Institution, conservative House members like Mr. Yoho and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. It was led by Ray Washburne, the president of O.P.I.C. and a top Republican fund-raiser from Texas.
Brookings has written extensively about foreign aid and has held numerous events on the topic, including this one on the future of foreign aid.