Foreign aid makes U.S. stronger
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
The idea of foreign aid being an investment for the U.S. can be a challenging concept to understand. Why would aid be an investment? Globally, over 3 billion people are living in poverty; 95 percent of U.S. consumers live outside the U.S.
These facts become even more significant when U.S. foreign aid helps to advance the growth of the world economy by investing in the world’s poor. How so? U.S. aid builds up the economy of developing countries, which creates opportunities for developing countries to be consumers. This builds the global economy.
What can be done on the ground to advance these investments? Supporting the international affairs budget. The international affairs budget supports critical development and diplomacy programs around the world. The programs of the budget create U.S. jobs by opening new markets to American businesses.
The international affairs budget received a total of $54.2 billion in the fiscal year 2019 budget deal, which passed in February 2019. This funding leverages less than 1 percent of the overall budget. This decreases one-third of our civilian forces for development and diplomacy at a time of extreme global threats, famines of historic proportions and refugee crisis not seen since WWII.
In fiscal year 2020, the Trump administration proposed a cut to the international affairs budget at 24 percent. The same budget that staffs all U.S. embassies overseas, fights pandemic disease, provides emergency response after natural disasters, implements agriculture programs to promote stability and prevent hunger, saves millions of lives with HIV/AIDS medications and provides essential good governance assistance to emerging democracies.
I urge North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to support the international affairs budget, which remembers the importance of defense, diplomacy and development.