The Biden administration is considering launching a global infrastructure project to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
US officials told Bloomberg that the administration is sending an official to Latin America to scout possible projects. Daleep Singh, the deputy national security advisor for economics, is traveling to Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador to meet with high-level officials and business leaders to discuss infrastructure needs.
Washington views the Belt and Road Initiative as a threat to US influence around the world, and President Biden has floated the idea to other world leaders of creating a rival to the project. Biden suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson back in March that there should be a similar initiative to the Belt and Road coming out of “democratic states.”
The US-led version being mulled by Biden would be called Build Back Better for the World. US officials told Bloomberg that projects being considered include solar power plants in India, water treatment facilities in El Salvador, and other potential plans in Kenya, Brazil, and South Africa.
Africa is one region where the US seems particularly concerned about Chinese influence. The Biden administration has plans to expand funding a Trump-era investment project in the continent, known as Prosper Africa. Another aspect of the US strategy is to discourage other countries from doing business in China, something Biden officials have done in conversations with African leaders.