SCRANTON – Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) told more than 100 Scranton business, veteran, and community leaders today that for Pennsylvania to succeed, America must invest in its role as a global leader—and that starts with American diplomacy and development programs.
“With over a million jobs in Pennsylvania tied directly to exports, investments in our civilian programs overseas are critical to securing our economic future here in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA). “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I fully support giving our nation’s diplomats and development workers the tools they need to open new markets for our goods, build critical partnerships, and stop conflicts before they happen, keeping our men and women in uniform out of harm’s way.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s foreign policy forum in the wake of the Administration’s latest budget proposal released last month, which called for a 24% cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Defense is often synonymous with national security, but it is not the only way we protect our nation and our families,” said Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (ret). “My 35 years in the Navy showed me repeatedly how our civilian-led U.S. programs, like diplomacy and development, reinforce our strategic alliances and contribute to our security and prosperity, while also strengthening U.S. leadership around the world. It takes joint civilian and defense efforts to keep our country safe and strong.”
Nearly 1.4 million jobs in Pennsylvania are tied to international trade, and Pennsylvania’s exports to foreign markets total more than $38.6 billion a year—meaning U.S. international engagement isn’t just a matter of national security, it’s a strategic economic issue for the Keystone State.
“America’s investments in economic development can positively impact, and even reshape, impoverished communities,” said John Mennel, Managing Director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy Practice. “Our investments help stabilize markets and stimulate local economies, ultimately raising incomes and lifting families out of poverty. We also benefit in the form of new trading partnerships and access to more consumers of American products.”
A strong and growing coalition in the state, the USGLC’s Pennsylvania Advisory Committee brings together more than 180 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvanians can be proud of Congressman Cartwright’s strong support of American global leadership,” said Lindsay Plack, Senior Director at the USGLC. “He understands that our diplomacy and development programs yield high a return on investment both for our economy and our national security. I applaud the Congressman for backing these vital U.S. programs and investing in America’s future.”
Also participating in today’s forum was Sister Mary Persico, President of Marywood University; Bob Durkin, President & CEO of Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; and Col. Mark Volk, President of Lackawanna College.
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.