May 6, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s top business, non-profit, military, and community leaders have joined together to highlight the importance of American engagement overseas by launching the Utah Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. The new and growing leadership group underscores Utah’s commitment to development and diplomacy and emphasizes the importance of investing in America’s International Affairs Budget.
Former Governor Jon Huntsman and Congressman Jim Matheson are the bipartisan co-chairs of the new Advisory Committee that now boasts more than 55 leaders in the state.
“What happens around the world absolutely affects us here in Utah and strategic investments in global development strengthen our national security, demonstrate our humanitarian values, and create jobs here at home. That’s why I’m so pleased that the USGLC is expanding its presence to the great state of Utah – and I’m honored to help lead this effort,” said Governor Jon Huntsman.
“Our international affairs programs are critical to demonstrating our American values and fostering growth in emerging markets – providing a hand up, not just a hand out. But these programs are underfunded and undermanned,” said Representative Jim Matheson. “Over the last decade, we’ve cut global poverty in half. This is a huge accomplishment and I’m proud to join the USGLC to continue to build on this progress by strengthening our nation’s investment in development and diplomacy.”
In addition to building economic prosperity, U.S. foreign assistance is a critical tool to protect America’s national security by countering violent extremism, promoting global stability, and preventing conflict before it occurs.
“Given the challenges we face abroad, our nation’s civilian programs are more critical than ever. The group assembled by USGLC in Utah will serve as an important voice for America’s global leadership,” said Senator Orrin Hatch.
“I am proud to see this impressive group of Utahns assembled by USGLC and co-chairs Governor Jon Huntsman and Congressman Jim Matheson. It further proves that our state is a global center of commerce and entrepreneurship, and organizations such as this are critical for marshaling the resources and ideas that will sustain both our country and our state’s economic growth and security well into the future,” said Senator Mike Lee.
“Even in this tumultuous election, America’s international affairs programs are one area where Democrats and Republicans come together. Governor Huntsman and Congressman Matheson are just the leaders we need as we expand our efforts in Utah,” said USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “Our growing presence demonstrates how Utah’s citizens understand that America’s engagement overseas strengthens the local economy and our national security.”
Last year, Utah exported more than $13.3 billion in goods to foreign markets, and trade supported nearly 400,000 jobs, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the community.
On Monday, May 9 the USGLC will kick off its first Utah event by hosting Representative Chris Stewart, Lieutenant General John F. Regni and Derek Miller, President and CEO of World Trade Center Utah for a lunch forum to discuss how America’s efforts abroad spur economic growth and create jobs in the state. With our economic security increasingly linked to the global marketplace and emerging threats like ISIS and global pandemics, this discussion could not come at a more critical time for Utah and the 2016 election.
America’s development and diplomacy programs comprise just one percent of federal spending, and include diplomatic relations, security assistance to allies and strategic partners, trade and economic relations, health clinics and schools in the developing world, and humanitarian relief efforts.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 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.