Background on the candidate’s statements, positions, and record on diplomacy, global development, and America’s role the world
Mayor Bloomberg has cited the creation of the Marshall Plan, the Generalized Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as “the pillars of an international system led by the United States that for 70 years helped maintain peace and build prosperity for much of the world, and avoided war between the major powers.”
Elected as New York City Mayor shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center, Mayor Bloomberg has said 9/11 shaped his views: “Defending our country is a president’s most important task… crises cannot be predicted” adding that a Bloomberg administration would act “just as Americans would hope – calmly, decisively and, above all, effectively.”
Bloomberg has said that U.S. foreign policy and national security should be rooted in defense, diplomacy, and development and cited his support for robust funding of all three saying “In addition to military spending, our country’s security depends on investing in education, diplomacy, foreign aid, alliances and scientific research and innovation.”
On resources for diplomacy and global development programs, Bloomberg has stated that the “proposed slashing or sabotaging budgets… cutting funding for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development by nearly 30 percent – [that’s] the last thing we should be doing and, as president, I would ensure those diplomatic and development budgets are increased rather than cut.”
Highlighting the importance of investing in women in developing countries, Mayor Bloomberg has said “Women play a critical role in leading progress on public health, climate change, economic development, and more.”
As a philanthropist, Mayor Bloomberg created Bloomberg Philanthropies which as focused on ensuring “better, longer lives for the greatest number of people by focusing on five key areas: arts, education, environment, government innovation, and public health.” The organization is active in nearly 130 countries around the world having invested $767 million in 2018 and over $8 billion since its creation.
Through his philanthropic work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and as an Ambassador for the World Health Organization, Mayor Bloomberg has taken an active role in combatting disease and global poverty, saying, “Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death and a barrier to global economic development.” Bloomberg also created a Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health to examine how fiscal policies help countries improve health outcomes and bring in additional revenue.
Noting the correlation between global health and economic prosperity, Bloomberg wrote, “Bloomberg Philanthropies has also been investing in Africa for years, because perhaps the single best investment you can make to spur economic development is to improve public health. The healthier a society it is, the more productive it is, and the greater potential it has for growth.”
Bloomberg has cited increasing alliances as a key element of his strategy to increase U.S. competitive with other world powers, saying “I also believe that the best way for the U.S. to handle the rise of China is to strengthen our alliances in Asia.”
Mayor Bloomberg has been a strong advocate for economic and social development on the African continent, recognizing the mutual economic benefits of a U.S.-Africa partnership, noting, “By investing in the U.S.-Africa partnership, we’re investing in prosperity on either side of the Atlantic.”
In a recent interview, Bloomberg noted that with expected population increases in Africa, he supports greater investment and engagement on the continent, saying “A stable and prosperous world depends on a stable and prosperous Africa.” He added that “I believe that the U.S. must do much more to secure the future of a continent that is home to 1.3 billion people and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”
Mayor Bloomberg has commented on the importance of addressing the impacts of climate change in the developing world, noting he has “fought to protect Africa’s future by highlighting the profoundly disruptive impact of climate change” and pledging as president to be “a true partner with African nations on the most pressing challenges: climate, security, migration, and economic growth.”
A prominent activist on climate change, Bloomberg was appointed in 2014 by the UN Secretary General as a special envoy for climate, and has helped to organize subsequent climate summits calling for climate change to be a “top priority of U.S. foreign policy.”
Speaking on the impacts of energy developing in emerging economies, Bloomberg has said he would incentivize non-fossil fuel energy sources by “restrict[ing] U.S. financing for coal projects abroad and will work closely with China, the OECD and multilateral development banks to eliminate fossil fuel projects from their overseas financing portfolios.” He has pledged that a future Bloomberg administration will “bring financial institutions together with multilateral and national development banks to finance clean energy projects in developing countries” and “provide technical assistance to countries participating in China’s Belt and Road initiative to ensure that they have clean alternatives to coal-fired power.”
As a businessman and former mayor of the most populous U.S. city, Mayor Bloomberg has touted the importance of engaging in the global marketplace, saying “The ties that bind nations together today are deeply connected to trade and investment. Diplomatic relations are often grounded in economic relations, and while chief executives are not diplomats, they can be voices for cooperation on a wide range of issues.”
Speaking on the nexus between economic engagement and development in Africa, Mayor Bloomberg has stated that “the growing demand for goods and services in Africa can increase U.S. exports and create more jobs here at home, and more trade and investment in Africa will be critical to America’s leadership in the global economy.” He has also noted that “American companies bring unique experience and expertise that can help African countries meet their development goals.”
Bloomberg has led and organized global business forums for corporate executives and government leaders, and has focused forums specifically on economic engagement between the U.S. and Africa.