September 29, 2014
Atlanta, GA — Today top business and community leaders joined Senator Johnny Isakson and General George Casey, USA (Ret.) for a roundtable discussion on how America’s efforts abroad are directly linked to Georgia’s security and economic prosperity.
Participants in the discussion underscored the value of being more engaged in the world, not less, in order to meet the opportunities and challenges of globalization. More than one in five Georgia jobs depend on international trade, further emphasizing the importance of investing in programs funded by the U.S. International Affairs Budget as a critical step in growing the State’s economy.
“Growing Georgia’s economy and creating jobs depends on how actively engaged we are around the world,” said Senator Johnny Isakson. “We have some of the largest global brands in our state, and our local manufacturers are selling billions of dollars in products overseas each year. I have seen the impact America’s investments in global development can make during my own travels in Africa and I’m proud these investments save the lives of thousands around the world, while also creating jobs here at home.”
Last year, Georgia exported more than $38 billion in goods and services to foreign markets, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the community.
In addition to building economic prosperity, U.S. foreign assistance is a powerful tool used to protect America’s national security by combating terror threats, promoting global stability, and preventing conflict before it occurs.
“One of the major lessons we’ve learned since 9/11 is that the threats we face today won’t be resolved by military means alone,” said General George Casey. “Non-military tools like development and diplomacy are also vital to our success, and they can be far less costly in dollars and lives.”
U.S. development and diplomacy programs funded by the International Affairs Budget make up 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.
Atlanta is headquarters to major global brands with rapidly growing operations in all corners of the world. Leaders from two of the largest global organizations delivered remarks at the event, including Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE, and Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. Nearly 400 local business, military and community members were also in attendance.
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 and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.