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Investment program gets House approval

Investment program gets House approval

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WASHINGTON - The House agreed Monday that worker rights and the environment should be factors in projects approved by a federal agency that backs private investment in less-developed countries.

The legislation to extend the life of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation through the end of fiscal 2011 also denies federal help to corporations that underwrite loans or make investments of more than $20 million in the energy sector of nations sponsoring terrorism.

The measure passed on a voice vote and now moves to the Senate.

OPIC, established in 1971, provides political risk insurance and financing for companies seeking to invest in countries where, because of economic or political instability, private insurance may not be available.

Over its history, OPIC has supported $177 billion in aid in more than 150 developing countries, helping to create 800,000 jobs and $13 billion in host government revenues.

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