January 23, 2020
MINNETONKA – Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) joined with more than 150 business, veteran, and community leaders today to discuss the importance of American diplomacy and development programs to Minnesota’s economy and national security.
“From climate change to pandemics, we’re facing significant global challenges — and threats like those don’t stay overseas,” said Rep. Dean Phillips, (D-MN). “That’s why we need to invest in American diplomacy and international development. Individuals who represent our country stand as our nation’s first line of defense—helping to build alliances, address humanitarian crises, and prevent conflicts before they reach our shores. In an era when diplomatic and development personnel are attacked and degraded, I am committed as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to rebuilding and reestablishing support for American statecraft at home and abroad. Madeleine Albright once said, ‘What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.’ It is the diplomats of this world who keep the conversation and our options open, and we need them now more than ever.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s foreign policy forum at a time when policy makers are considering the next year’s federal budget, including resources for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Military action is not a substitute for diplomacy — there’s a need for both in our foreign policy playbook,” said Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.). “We have to allow space for dialogue with other countries —our allies and our adversaries — if we want to uphold global peace and prosperity. Now more than ever, our country’s civilian personnel are critical to helping our men and women in uniform safeguard our national security and prevent geopolitical crises down the line.”
Over 701,000 jobs in Minnesota are tied to international trade, and Minnesota’s exports to foreign markets total more than $20.6 billion a year—meaning U.S. international engagement isn’t just a matter of national security, it’s a strategic economic issue for the North Star State.
“The food farmers grow has an important purpose: to feed a hungry world – putting meals on plates in school lunchrooms down the street, and on dinner tables in different hemispheres,” said Michelle Grogg, Cargill’s vice president for corporate responsibility. “The supply chains that move food from where it is grown to where it is needed connect farmers in Minnesota and across the heartland to the nourishment of a broader global community. At Cargill, we have the unique privilege of making those global connections relevant in people’s lives, with partnerships across the food system that nourish our world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way.”
A strong and growing coalition in the state, the USGLC’s Minnesota Advisory Committee brings together more than 80 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Minnesota.
“It’s great to be in Minnesota – especially with a rising foreign policy leader in Congress like Congressman Phillips,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO. “And after listening to the business and community leaders here, they clearly understand that America wins when America leads in the world, from helping farmers feed the world to tackling threats before they reach our doorstep.”
Also participating in today’s forum was the Honorable Norm Coleman, former U.S. Senator; Beth Ford, President & CEO of Land O’Lakes; and the Honorable Mark Ritchie, President of Global Minnesota.
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.