March 16, 2023
UNION TOWNSHIP, OH – At a town hall hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) spoke to over 100 Ohio leaders on how U.S. engagement around the world matters locally to Ohio communities. Rep. Wenstrup was joined by Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), and Amb. Kelley Currie, Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, to discuss how America’s leadership in the world is critical to U.S. national security and Ohio’s economic interests.
In speaking on the importance of why America’s role on the global stage matters, Rep. Wenstrup said, “What we need to focus on, to make a greater difference for our children [is] to leave something better than you found it. Will the next generation say thank you? … I think that’s a pretty good litmus test. What we are talking about, and what [the USGLC does] and I thank you for all the work that you do, stave[s] off greater conflict. That is a part of what we are trying to do, for this generation of Americans, to prevent another 9/11.”
As Congress prepares for the reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which is marking its 20th anniversary this year, Ambassador Currie mentioned the efficacy of PEPFAR saying, “We can’t get in a race to the bottom with [China] because we can’t win that, but we can level up PEPFAR – the kinds of engagements that we’ve had over the past decades where we brought real value.”
Also speaking about why American leadership globally matters locally were: The Honorable Michael Louge, Trustee, City of Union Township; Bob Lees, International Business Advisory Services; and Anna Horner, Grant Operations & Reporting Lead, Cargill. The forum, hosted by USGLC, brought together business, non-profit, veteran, faith, and community leaders from Columbus and the wider region.
Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) spoke about America’s role in the world saying, “We have to build trust and confidence and measures that represent the greatness of the United States. It is within our ability economically or ability for military security to ensure stability in the world and do everything we can to avoid going into harm’s way.”
“If we don’t spend money on diplomats and development, he’s going to need a lot more soldiers. Because we’re going to have to solve problems, the problems aren’t going to go away just because we ignore them or pretend like they’re not there. They will come and find us,” said Ambassador Currie when speaking about why these kinds of investments are so important to the U.S. and to Ohio.
America’s investments in diplomacy and development globally benefit Ohio locally, with more than $50 billion global exports from Ohio in 2021. Last year, more than 1.4 million jobs in Ohio were supported by international trade. Of the over 15,000 Ohio businesses that export goods, 88 percent are small or medium-sized. Through thousands of local businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs, Ohio families are benefiting from America’s leadership on the global stage.
“Ohio understands how critical U.S. development and diplomacy is when it comes to protecting our national security, advancing our economic interest and projecting the very best American values,” said Jason Gross, USGLC Executive Director. “We welcome Representative Wenstrup’s leadership and continued support for global development assistance around the world. Leading globally truly matters locally, and we’re fortunate to see Ohio leaders dedicated to advancing America’s leadership on the global stage.”
For the full discussion, watch the event here.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) 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.