June 29, 2011

Over 50 Top Business Leaders Tell Congress Global Engagement Key to Job Creation, Economic Growth

Urge Congress to Support Strong and Effective International Affairs Budget

Washington, DC —
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) today released a letter to Members of Congress signed by over 50 of the country’s top business leaders urging them to support a strong and effective International Affairs Budget. The business leaders make clear U.S. investments in global engagement open new markets to American businesses, creating jobs and economic growth across the country.

“The International Affairs Budget funds valuable tools for advancing U.S. economic and strategic interests around the world and is vital for achieving a more prosperous future for American workers and businesses,” reads the letter.

Signed by leaders representing a diverse range of businesses including Boeing, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Walmart, the letter to Congress also calls the International Affairs Budget “America’s ‘toolbox’ for trade” and states “that international development and diplomacy programs play a vital role in creating American jobs and spurring U.S. economic growth.”

“As we work to boost U.S. exports and create American jobs, the U.S. International Affairs budget must continue to fund the diplomacy and development programs that enhance the global competitiveness of American business,” said Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  “America must utilize all of its tools and resources to strengthen our national interests and ensure our global competitiveness. The work of agencies ranging from the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Export-Import Bank helps to create American jobs and builds on the hard-fought security achievements of our men and women in uniform. Now is not the time to retreat from our engagement in the world.”

Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget open new markets for American goods and services, and support American small businesses as they work to export their products overseas. Currently, one in five American jobs depends on exports, and the fastest-growing markets anywhere are in the developing world.  Reaching those new markets through international affairs programs is essential to American competitiveness and job creation.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than three million American businesses, released their own letter to Members of Congress in support of the International Affairs Budget, demonstrating the strong support of both small and large businesses for this critical investment.

In today’s letter, the 50 business leaders also told Members of Congress “in order to spur U.S. economic growth and create jobs here at home, the United States must remain competitive in an increasingly interconnected global economy and continue to build new markets for American goods and services.”

For the full text of the letter, click here, or visit www.usglc.org.

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.