Secretary Geithner on Global Leadership

September 28, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Yesterday, the USGLC and the Chamber of Commerce hosted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who said “U.S. leadership in global development matters—because if we are going to benefit from global growth, we need to support it.” He also noted that the USGLC’s video making the economic case for the International Affairs Budget was “the best economic argument he had ever heard” for international engagement. Also yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a much-anticipated address at the Reagan Presidential Library, where he said “The argument for getting our own house in order is not an argument for turning our back on the world.  We cannot and should not do that.”

Must Reads

USGLC in the News

Geithner Says Multilateral Development Banks ‘Vital’ to Growth (Ian Katz, Bloomberg)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said multilateral development banks are “vital contributors” to potential global economic growth. Geithner’s comments at an event held by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition were released in a Treasury Department statement today.

Who’s in the News

Geithner: Business Should Back Development Banks (Editorial, International Business Times)

It is in U.S. business’ own interest to support the role of multilateral development banks as they try to bolster global growth, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday.  In prepared remarks for a closed-door event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby group, Geithner noted the global economy still is under pressure including from Europe’s debt crisis. Development banks can help by boosting growth in emerging markets, he suggested.

Ron Paul: U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts drains economy (Allie Wright, The Daily Iowan)
Paul blamed massive spending and the trillions of dollars in American debt in the failing economy and said the government is not being productive about fixing it but instead borrowing more and more money. “You can’t correct the problem by doing the same thing,” he said. University of Iowa political-science Associate Professor Tim Hagle said Paul’s stance is not cutting spending from the poor or the sick but rather cut from foreign aid. But not everyone agrees with this stance, he said, because U.S. aid to other nations does have positive implications for the country, especially as a way to attempt to build relationships with allies.

Smart Power

Somalia famine getting worse (Elizabeth Flock, Washington Post)

Seven hundred and fifty thousand Somalis may die of starvation this year. That’s equivalent to wiping out every single person in Washington, plus 150,000 more.  The scale of the disaster in the Horn of Africa is something difficult to wrap your head around. Consider some of the other numbers: The rate of malnutrition in Somalia is now 50 percent, meaning half of its people are at risk of malnutrition, starvation or death.

Namibia calls for donor states to ‘untie’ aid (Adam Leach, Supply Management)
The European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) has written to all EU member states and called on them to ‘untie’ aid awarded to developing countries. The letter, published on Monday, said: “Aid can yield a double dividend for poverty eradication and sustainable development when it is spent locally, when it actually enters the economies of recipient countries thus creating jobs and income opportunities, building domestic productive capacities and driving inclusive growth.”

State and USAID embrace data visualization to promote missions (Caitlin Fairchild, NextGov)
The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are expanding data visualization projects in an effort to promote greater understanding of — and foster solutions for — global challenges ranging from hunger to anti-Semitism. Several officials discussed the effort during Tech@State, the department’s event series on the use of technology.  In one example, officials want to make the data that’s available at, part of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative that provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance funds, more valuable to users by allowing them to generate their own charts based on the information they need.

Dar, Kigali earn top marks in use of aid (Editorial, The Citizen)Tanzania and Rwanda have topped a global survey meant to determine how well foreign aid is used by recipients. The two countries excelled in the survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 78 countries and territories that get most of the aid. The findings released last Friday in Paris give Rwanda and Tanzania an ‘A’ rating, which is the highest score. Rwanda got top marks from its development partners for “owning its development process by initiating its own policies, then asking the donor community to fund them”.

Politics/Foreign Policy

Can this government be fixed? Three steps that might help (Susan Page, USA Today)
Can this government be fixed? Americans are increasingly frustrated by the disconnect between what they say they want in their government, and what they see happening in Washington. A majority want compromise; they see polarization. They want economic and other problems addressed; they see gridlock and a series of perils-of-Pauline cliffhangers. By a record 4-1 ratio in a new Gallup Poll, they express dissatisfaction with the way the country is being governed. “We are in this period of great anxiety because of economic uncertainty … and that has people worried about their future,” says Dan Glickman, a former Democratic congressman and Cabinet secretary affiliated with the Bipartisan Policy Center.