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Obama plan would make OPIC part of larger commerce agency


WASHINGTON—The Overseas Private Investment Corp., which provides political risk insurance for U.S. companies doing business in developing countries, would become part of a larger commerce agency under a plan President Barack Obama announced Friday.

OPIC offers limits of up to $250 million per project for up to 20 years, with premium rates guaranteed for the life of the project. Insurance offered includes political violence, expropriation/improper government interference, currency inconvertibility and specialty coverage. It also provides stand-alone terrorism coverage.

Six major federal departments and agencies focus on business and trade issues, which is “redundant and inefficient,” the White House said in a statement. “The president is proposing to consolidate those six departments and agencies into one department with one website, one phone number and one mission—helping American businesses succeed.”

In addition to OPIC, the agencies that would be affected by the reorganization are the U.S. Commerce Department’s core business and trade functions, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

The president asked Congress for the authority to conduct the consolidation.