August 7, 2018

Rep. Mike Kelly to 150+ Erie Leaders: U.S. Diplomacy, Foreign Assistance Critical to National Security, Pennsylvania Jobs

Press handout photos here:

Erie – Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) told more than 150 Erie business, veteran, and community leaders today that investing in American diplomacy and foreign assistance advances our security and economic interests.

“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside our borders, it’s essential that America use all our tools to help open new markets for Pennsylvania exports,” said Congressman Mike Kelly. “Few are in a better place to do this than our nation’s diplomats and development professionals. And with millions of Pennsylvania jobs tied to the international economy, investing in the State Department and USAID makes a difference right here in the Keystone State.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted today’s foreign policy forum in the wake of the Administration’s latest budget proposal, which calls for a severe 30% cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“We are living in an increasingly complex world— and with our security and our economy tied to what happens overseas, we can’t afford to take chances,” said Governor Tom Ridge. “Investments in America’s diplomats and development workers help get at the root causes of terrorism and conflict, like famine and poverty, keeping Pennsylvania safe and our brave men and women in uniform out of harm’s way.”

With 1.4 million Pennsylvania jobs tied to international trade, and Pennsylvania exports to foreign markets totaling more than $38 billion a year.

“Our nation’s diplomatic and development programs are encouraging countries to open their economies and lower trade barriers.  Simply put, that means more export related jobs for American workers and more product choices at lower costs for American consumers.” said Bill Lane, Executive Director of Trade for America. “And the numbers speak for themselves – exports support more than a million Pennsylvania jobs and pump billions of dollars back into Pennsylvania’s economy every year. Now that’s an investment that’s paying real dividends.”

A strong and growing coalition in the state for nearly a decade, the USGLC’s Pennsylvania Advisory Committee brings together nearly 200 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Pennsylvania.

“Global instability is bad for our security and bad for our economy. Fortunately, for Pennsylvania’s economy and the security of everyone in his district, Congressman Kelly understands the importance of using all our tools— diplomacy, development, as well as the military— to maintain American leadership on the world stage,” said Lindsay Plack, Director of Government Relations for the USGLC.

Also participating in today’s forum was Mayor Joseph Schember and Dr. Keith Taylor, President of Gannon University.

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.