April 21, 2017
Seattle – U.S. Representative Adam Smith, General Peter Chiarelli, and Mark Murray, Vice President of Global Engagement and Communications at PATH, joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) along with more than 200 Washington State leaders to discuss how American leadership abroad bolsters our national security and creates jobs here at home. With proposed budget cuts threatening the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), this discussion could not come at a more critical time for Washington.
“Our country’s diplomatic and development programs not only save lives and project the best of American values, they help keep our country safe and create jobs here at home,” said U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA). “When we help stabilize countries and alleviate poverty, we reduce conflicts, make it harder for extremist groups to gain a foothold, and create new opportunities for Washington businesses. Simply put, American leadership abroad matters greatly for our country’s security and Washington’s economic prosperity.”
“Those of us who have served our country in uniform understand that the military alone cannot keep us safe,” said General Peter Chiarelli. “Our soldiers need strong civilian partners to keep pace with the threats we face today. By using our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy, we can decrease the need for military involvement, avoid sending our servicemen and women into harm’s way, and keep Americans safe at home.”
Washington is a hub for international trade and home to some of the largest global brands and organizations with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. Washington exports more than $86 billion in goods to foreign markets a year and trade supports over 945,000 local jobs, making U.S. international engagement a strategic economic issue for the state.
“As we face an ever-growing number of global threats, including a famine affecting 20 million people, a refugee crisis of historic proportion, and continued instability from the Middle East to the Korean Peninsula, American leadership overseas is more important than ever,” said Lindsay Plack, Director of Government Relations for the USGLC. “Fortunately, Congressman Smith and the bipartisan group of Washington State leaders in the room today get these issues. They understand that our national security and economic strength are on the line—and the U.S. can’t afford to scale back resources for development and diplomacy.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.