Background on the candidate’s statements, positions, and record on diplomacy, global development, and U.S. international affairs programs.
A former House member and current U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott has been an advocate of U.S. leadership on the world stage, stating that “advancing U.S. national security, economic security, and foreign policy are all vital to our domestic security here at home.”
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Scott was named as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health in 2023 and proclaimed that “American leadership on the world stage is needed now more than ever” and that he was eager to work “to promote America’s values and interests abroad, strengthen our cooperation with key partners and allies, curb the expanding influence of strategic competitors such as China and Russia – particularly in Africa.”
Senator Scott’s presidential campaign platform has focused more on the military toolkit, stating that the United States “will not try to be the world’s policeman” and that, if elected, he will “rebuild a military so lethal and powerful that our adversaries will fear us.”
In Congress, he has sponsored or co-sponsored legislation on U.S. relations with Ukraine, China, Israel, and Iran – and on strengthening international religious freedom. He is also a member of the Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is also a member of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus and the Senate Taiwan Caucus.
On U.S. global leadership:
- In outlining the global challenges facing the U.S., Senator Scott has affirmed the importance of U.S. leadership in the world, stating that “America needs to have strong leadership” adding that “we must boost economic growth and competitiveness through a renewed commitment to free enterprise, free trade, rule of law, and international U.S. leadership.”
- As part of a speech series with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, he has said, “we have no choice but to lead the world with bravery, resolve, and strength” and “the world – and the American people – need responsible, steady leadership in this moment of crisis.” He has added that, “America remains the most important and powerful defender of democracy in the world – a responsibility we must take seriously.”
- In opening remarks during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on national security, Scott stated, “Preserving our status as a world leader requires the continual honing and sharpening of our economic security tools in order to preserve and protect the role of America at home and abroad.”
On diplomacy and global development:
- In Congress, Senator Scott has most recently voted against amendments that would have cut the International Affairs Budget topline funding level, including a 2021 amendment that would have cut $26 billion from the FY21 International Affairs Budget to go to transportation and infrastructure programs and made similar cuts for the next 10 years. In 2019, he voted for an amendment that would have cut the International Affairs Budget.
- He has also voted in favor of legislation to strengthen development and diplomacy programs, including voting in favor of the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
- Scott has co-sponsored important global development legislation including the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 and legislation to promote diversity and inclusion in America’s international affairs agencies.
On the global competition with China:
- Senator Scott has made China a central pillar of his national security platform, and believes it is “a rising threat to American power and democracy around the globe,” stating that “the Chinese Communist Party’s goal is not just to surpass us. It is to beat us.”
- In discussing the challenge China poses, he has said, “China is engaged in an all-out soft power assault with the United States. They are leveraging economic tools, cyberattacks, and predatory trade practices to directly challenge American leadership.”
- Scott has noted the importance of standing by Taiwan, saying, “we must stand shoulder to shoulder with the Taiwanese government and the military when it comes to defending what we believe is our ally” and that the U.S. must “continue to provide the resources to the Taiwanese military.”
On the war in Ukraine:
- Senator Scott has stood firm in his support for Ukraine, stating that it is in America’s “vital national interest” and “that degrading the Russian military is in America’s best interest. And the more we do that, the faster we get it done, the better off the entire world is.”
- Scott has voted for the recent emergency aid packages to support the Ukrainians. He has also said that U.S. assistance to Ukraine cannot come “with a blank check” and requires “accountability for all the dollars being spent.”
- In stressing the importance of degrading Russia’s military, Scott remarked that it solves two problems, “First, it prevents or reduces attacks on the homeland,” and second, “it will reduce the likelihood that Russia will have the weaponry or the will to attack on NATO territory, which would get us involved.”