Businesses Tell Congress International Affairs Budget Crucial for Job Creation and Economic Security

Jun 08, 2010, 13:09 ET from U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Over 50 Business Leaders Say Development and Diplomacy Matters to Their Bottom Lines

WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over fifty leading U.S. businesses from Caterpillar to Wal-Mart wrote Members of Congress today telling them how critical the President's International Affairs Budget request is to American job creation, trade, and economic security.

"Now more than ever, America's economy is linked with global trade and economic growth," their letter states.  "Over the past 40 years, trade has tripled as a share of our national economy. Today, 1 out of 5 American jobs are tied to international trade. America's fastest growing markets—representing roughly half of U.S. exports—are developing countries."

The President's $58.8 billion International Affairs Budget request will go before House and Senate Appropriators in the coming weeks.  American businesses know this tiny 1.5 percent of the federal budget is not just important to our national security and standing in the world, but also to building and shoring up our economy.  

"American companies recognize how critical international trade is to their bottom line," said Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  "The International Affairs Budget has a very positive impact here at home and is vital to getting our economy back on its feet by opening new markets overseas for our goods."

"Land O'Lakes knows the important roles development and diplomacy play in strengthening the global economy," said Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O'Lakes and Chairman of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition's Business Advisory Council.  "When we invest in developing countries, we are creating new trading partners, and that's good for Land O'Lakes, for America and for the world."    

"What happens in one country's economy today affects the global economy," said Bill Lane, USGLC Co-President, and Washington Director of Caterpillar.  "There is now a firm consensus among business leaders about how important U.S. development and diplomacy efforts are to growing our economy and generating jobs here at home."  

In closing, the letter states, "The International Affairs Budget is a fundamental tool for advancing U.S. economic and strategic interests around the world. That is why we urge you to support the President's FY 2011 request for the International Affairs Budget."

In another show of support, a bipartisan group of nearly 40 Senators recently wrote Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) urging them to support the President's full request.

"We urge you to allocate for the International Affairs Budget no less than $58.8 billion, the amount requested by the Obama Administration and in keeping with bipartisan calls from our nation's foreign policy and military leaders to increase funding for development and diplomacy," say the 37 Senators.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

SOURCE U.S. Global Leadership Coalition