April 4, 2024

Rep. Marc Veasey, Local and National Leaders Speak Out on What U.S. Global Engagement is Worth to Texas 

IRVING, TX – Yesterday, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted U.S. Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) alongside more than 130 local business, veteran, and community leaders for a conversation on the critical importance of U.S. global engagement to Texas’s national security and economic stability. With American interests threatened by wars in Europe and the Middle East, competition in the Indo-Pacific, and historic levels of hunger and displaced people, Representative Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) spoke out on how U.S. engagement around the world matters locally to Texas families and communities.

On the national security emergency package for Ukraine, the Middle East, and Taiwan – currently being considered in the House – Representative Veasey stated, “This package is hugely important to get passed to just maintain that peace, stability, and that sense of security that all of us have been used to for so long.” He added, “If we’re not proactive in these situations, they could escalate out of control.”

Also speaking about why U.S. leadership globally matters locally were: Lt. Gen. Stephen M. Speakes, U.S. Army (Ret.), Robin Lerner, President & CEO of the Texas International Education Consortium, Liz Brailsford, President & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chris Wallace, President & CEO of the North Texas Commission. The conversation brought together business, non-profit, veteran, faith, and community leaders from Dallas/Fort Worth and the wider region.

Texas exported $375.3 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2021, a 36% increase compared to 2020 driven by continued economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. In 2019, 3,622,500 jobs were supported by international trade in Texas, representing 20.1% of all jobs in the state. And in 2020, 38,074 companies exported goods from Texas of which 92% were small- and medium-sized enterprises underscoring how America’s global investments in diplomacy and development benefit Texas locally.

“From my standpoint, everything we can do as a nation to be an advocate for the building of modern economic ties, trade, and commerce means advancing our security and our stability,” said Lt. Gen. Speakes. “As I looked at the world, from my days in the Army, it was obvious to me that planning a defense budget was not strictly something that was related to weapons, munitions, and soldiers. It was related to a sound international foreign policy that had very strong elements of economic structure and investment.”

“What happens in Texas impacts the globe, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Texans may struggle to understand their role in global affairs when complex issues are unfolding just outside their doors. As drivers of the 8th largest economy in the world, Texans have a stake in global stability, and we cannot see the fruits of our efforts without a robust U.S. development and diplomacy infrastructure,” said Robin Lerner, President & CEO of Texas International Education Consortium. “The unsung heroes of national security, U.S. diplomats work every day to promote U.S. ingenuity and American companies, sharing American culture with those who would otherwise misunderstand us. All of this keeps doors open to American goods and a healthy hospitality toward the American people.”

“In recent years, America’s role in the world has become not only more important but increasingly complex. We have seen our country shrink from our international duties rather than leaning in to use our influence and innovation to revitalize our global economy,” said Chris Wallace, President & CEO of the North Texas Commission. “We are thrilled today to partner with the USGLC and Congressman Marc Veasey to host this important conversation about North Texas’ and even America’s role on the world stage. There is no more innovative and energized region with the tools and resources to come together and tackle the global problems ahead of us than North Texas.”

“What brings us all together in this ‘strange bedfellows’ coalition is a shared belief in America’s global leadership. The belief that strategic investments in development and diplomacy are crucial, not only for our economic and national security but to project the very best of American values to the world. Over 20% of all jobs in Texas are connected to international trade and more than $400 billion of goods are exported from the state every year, showing just one example of how much America’s investments in the world matter at home,” said Luke Wenz, USGLC Deputy National Director, Western & Military Outreach. “We are grateful for Representative Veasey’s leadership and support for diplomacy and democracy initiatives around the world and are grateful for the countless Texas leaders who are committed to advancing U.S. leadership on the global stage.”



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.