May 2, 2023

Rep. Adam Smith, Washington and National Leaders Speak Out on Economic and National Security Implications of Climate Change and Importance of U.S. Global Engagement

SEATTLE, WA – At a conversation today hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA-9) spoke about the importance of supporting continued U.S. engagement around the world and why it matters locally to Washington communities. Rep. Smith was joined by General Charles F. Wald, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) for a discussion with local and national leaders on America’s role in the world and the importance of strategic investments in mitigating climate change—which increasingly poses new risks to U.S. economic and national security here at home in Washington and globally.

“The climate crisis poses a grave threat to our economic and national security, and global stability, and will continue to become more costly and deadly if we don’t respond effectively. Climate change is already a driver of increased displacement, famine, and conflict throughout the globe. That’s why I fought to have climate change formally recognized in law as a national security threat and supported U.S. leadership in combatting climate change on the international stage,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “We’ve already seen the devastating impacts here at home in Washington, especially in the Puget Sound region, and without bold action, the climate crisis will continue to have serious consequences for the health and economy of our state and the entire world.”

Also speaking about why U.S. leadership globally matters locally were State Senator Karen Keiser, Washington State Senate President Pro Tempore, and Jacqueline Miller, President and CEO, World Affairs Council of Seattle. The conversation, hosted by USGLC, brought together business, non-profit, veteran, faith, and community leaders from Seattle and the wider region.

General Wald spoke to the importance of U.S. global leadership in tackling today’s challenges like climate change, but that we cannot do it alone, saying, “we need partnership to help pick up the load of what’s happening in the world. We don’t have the capacity to do that…. we’ve got to figure out how others collaborate.”

With $53.6 billion in global exports from Washington in 2021, America’s investments in diplomacy and development benefit Washington locally. Last year, over 931,000 jobs in Washington were supported by international trade. Of the 11,341 Washington businesses that export goods, 89 percent are small or medium-sized businesses.

“As climate change continues to escalate, Washington understands how critical America’s role in the world is, especially U.S. investments in development and diplomacy,” said Luke Wenz, USGLC Deputy National Outreach Director. “Leading globally matters locally, and we welcome Representative Smith’s leadership in protecting the economic and national security interests of Washingtonians in the face of a changing climate. We are fortunate to see Washington leaders committed to advancing U.S. leadership on the global stage.”

For the full discussion, watch the event here.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( 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.