August 21, 2018

Rep. Ted Yoho to 100+ Gainesville Leaders: America’s Diplomats, Development Workers Vital to Florida Economy

Press handout photos here:

Gainesville – Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) told more than 100 Gainesville business, veteran, and community leaders today that investing in America’s global leadership is an investment in Florida’s economy.

“With millions of Florida jobs tied to exports – 1 in 5 jobs to be exact, American global leadership doesn’t just matter for the world—it matters for Floridians,” said Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).  “From opening new markets overseas to keeping us safe here at home, our nation’s diplomats and development workers help to secure America’s national security and our status as a world leader. It’s essential that we give those men and women the critical resources they need to be effective.”

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).

“I served in the Air Force for 34 years – it’s how I learned the values of integrity, service, and excellence,” said Lt. General Richard Y. Newton III (Ret.). “Not only do the men and women in our nation’s civilian roles share these values, they exercise them every single day in defense of our freedoms and they play a vital role in stabilizing regions around the world working hand-in-hand with the US military. That’s why it’s critical we keep our civilian capabilities, such as diplomacy and development assistance, fully funded and at the forefront of our country’s foreign policy strategy.”

With over 2 million Florida jobs tied to international trade, and Florida exports to foreign markets totaling more than $55 billion a year, U.S. international engagement isn’t just a matter of national security. It’s a strategic economic issue for the Sunshine State.

“When we provide the world’s most vulnerable with the means to empower themselves, we become a stabilizing force for good,” said Martin Lowery, Executive Vice President Emeritus of NRECA.  “That’s what U.S. foreign assistance programs do— they offer a hand up, not a handout. Alongside our nation’s diplomats, America’s development workers are a steady hand for peace and prosperity in some of the world’s most volatile regions.”

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

“Investing in our diplomacy and development programs doesn’t just strengthen America’s global leadership, it supports jobs right here in Florida,” said Lindsay Plack, Director of Government Relations for the USGLC. “A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and sponsor of the BUILD Act, Congressman Yoho is a true champion in Congress for our nation’s programs overseas. He understands that effective funding for these programs will not just work to improve the lives of those in the developing world but Americans, too.”

Also participating in today’s forum was Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn; Reverend Russell Meyer, the Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches; and Ken Lawson, President and CEO of Visit Florida.

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.