July 19, 2012

Over 50 Top Business Leaders Urge Congress to Support International Affairs Budget

Over 50 Top Business Leaders Urge Congress to Support
International Affairs Budget

Development and Diplomacy Key to Job Creation, Economic Growth

Washington, DC — Over 50 of America’s top business leaders sent a letter to every Member of Congress today urging support for a strong and effective International Affairs Budget.  The business leaders make clear U.S. investments in development and diplomacy are just smart business and a key to opening new markets for American goods and services and to creating jobs here at home.

“As business leaders, we know that U.S. economic growth is linked with global trade and the world’s economy like never before,” reads the letter.  “The trade and export promotion programs funded by the International Affairs Budget are essential to expanding U.S. activity in new and emerging markets.”

Signed by leaders representing a diverse range of businesses including Boeing, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Walmart, the letter also calls for the public and private sectors to work together to achieve economic growth and create U.S. jobs, saying, “One of the best ways to do this is through our development and diplomacy programs.”

“We live in a global economy, and for American businesses to stay competitive and reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S., we have to be actively engaged in the world,” said Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  “The International Affairs budget plays a vital enabling role for U.S. companies to tap foreign markets and create jobs and prosperity at home.”

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 over half of exports already go to developing countries.  Expanding these markets through international affairs programs is essential to American competitiveness and job creation.

For the full text of the letter, click here.

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.