August 5, 2022
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On August 4, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted an interactive discussion with U.S. Representative Stephanie Bice (R-OK-5) on how America’s leadership and engagement in the world is critical to the security and prosperity of Oklahoma. Rep. Bice was also joined by retired Marine Lieutenant General Brian Beaudreault and Todd Pauley of The Boeing Company for a panel discussion on American leadership in the face of growing global threats and crises and how engagement with the world is vital to the security and prosperity of Oklahoma.
“Countries look to the United States as a country that protects democracy and freedom abroad. In these times of uncertainty, it is vital that the United States pursues policies of peace through strength,” said Rep. Stephanie Bice. “It is important that we continue to invest in development and diplomacy, which is actually much more cost effective than military engagement. We must also work to maintain and expand our diplomatic partnerships.”
“On a micro scale, the International Affairs Budget can have a large impact across the world, and especially in the state of Oklahoma,” Rep. Bice continued. “Our manufactured goods are in demand across the world, in countries like Japan, Mexico, and Canada. Hardworking Oklahomans experience the benefits of these goods sold, which in turn supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in our state. We must keep our presence known on the world stage.”
Former Governor Frank Keating, Governor Bill Anaotubby, State Chamber of Oklahoma President & CEO Chad Warmington, and Global Housing Foundation President Sharon Young also gave remarks during the lively conversation on the importance of U.S. development and diplomacy programs. The USGLC welcomed members from across the political, NGO, business, military, and faith-based communities in Oklahoma for this bipartisan forum.
Regarding how investing in America’s civilian toolkit helps keep the nation safe, Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault stated, “We never can predict where the next crisis is actually going to happen. If we can ensure that we continue to have a healthy foreign aid budget, that means greater security at home – fewer members of our military having to deploy forward.”
America’s investments in diplomacy and development globally benefit Oklahomans locally. Last year, more than 430,000 jobs in Oklahoma were supported by international trade. Of the nearly 3,000 Oklahoma businesses that export goods, 84 percent are small or medium-sized businesses. Through local businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs, Oklahoma families are benefiting from America’s leadership on the global stage.
“Oklahomans understand how critical U.S. development and diplomacy is to their economic, health and security interests,” said Jason Gross, Executive Director of USGLC. “We welcome Representative Bice’s fresh and leading voice on global issues in Congress for the benefit of Oklahomans, including for farmers, energy producers and job creators across the state. Leading globally truly matters locally, and we’re fortunate to see Oklahoma leaders dedicated to advancing U.S. leadership on the global stage.”
The town hall was USGLC’s first ever public state-wide event in Oklahoma, following the launch of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee co-chaired by former Oklahoma governors Brad Henry and Mary Fallin-Christensen.
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.