10 Facts About the M-CORE Act

The Millennium Compacts for Regional Economic Integration Act (M-CORE Act), introduced by Rep. Karen Bass in May 2015, would allow the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to engage in multiple projects in an eligible country at any given time.

The MCC was established in January 2004 thanks to bipartisan efforts in passing the 2003 Millennium Challenge Act.

However, the law currently prohibits the MCC from entering into more than one concurrent assistance agreement – or compact – in any country at any given time.

  1. The M-CORE Act will allow the MCC to develop multiple compacts with a country at any given time.
  2. Multiple compacts in a country, particularly in Africa, will promote regional economic integration and cross-border collaborations.
  3. An eligible country that already has a Millennium Challenge Compact in effect can enter into another compact if one or both compacts are or will be for regional economic integration, increased regional trade or cross-border collaborations.
  4. This act establishes new assistance criteria for a low-income or a lower middle-income candidate country to enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact with the U.S.
  5. Candidate countries must meet the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (IBRD) threshold.
  6. If the per capita income of a low-income candidate country changes during the fiscal year to that of a lower middle-income country, then the country will need to meet the per capita income requirement for that fiscal year and the two subsequent fiscal years.
  7. Eligible countries that already have a Millennium Challenge Compact in effect can enter into another compact if the country is making considerable and demonstrable progress in implementing the terms of the existing compact.
  8. The MCC’s board must notify Congress 15 days prior to providing assistance to an eligible country, commencing negotiations with an eligible country, signing a compact and terminating a compact or agreement.
  9. In addition to the notification requirement, the MCC is required to provide detailed information on economic rates of return.
  10. The MCC’s board is required to disclose information on their website and provide notice of the information’s availability in the Federal Register.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has signed 29 compacts with 25 different countries since its inception — and the M-CORE Act has the potential to increase their impact.

According to a March 2015 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, concurrent regional compacts could provide higher rates of return on investments, benefiting from economies of scale and supporting trade between nations.

Summer Jackson

Sources: The United States House of Representatives, Congress, FAS
Photo: Google Images