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A nation must think before it acts.
After its launch in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) took the world by storm. Originally hailed as the “project of the century” by Xi Jinping, the world has soured on the initiative after years of stories of corruption, financial instability, and debt trap diplomacy. In 2019, Xi hosted the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where he attempted to right the ship by promising significant reforms and transparency. Whether or not such changes will take place is up for debate, but the issues with the BRI have created an opportunity for the United States to implement the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, of which the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act is a key pillar in helping developing nations. The BUILD Act changes the way in which the United States can invest in developing nations and can set the stage for competing more effectively with China.