May 31, 2018
Press handout photos here: https://bit.ly/2IZkUi1
Watch the full event here: https://bit.ly/2JiZADK
San Antonio – Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) told more than 100 San Antonio business, veteran, and community leaders today that a fully-funded and empowered diplomatic and development corps is vital to U.S. national security and to Texas’ economy.
“One of the main things I learned in the CIA is to be nice with the nice guys, and tough with the tough guys. In today’s interconnected world, we have to work together with our allies and show them we have their backs,” said Rep. Hurd, who served along U.S. diplomats during his deployments overseas as an undercover officer in the CIA. “When we’re talking to our enemies, we’re not fighting. American diplomats ensure we’re having productive conversations across the world that strengthen national security and protect our interests abroad.”
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).
“America’s diplomats and development workers are a force for good in this chaotic world,” said General Michael Hagee (Ret.). “My decades of service as a Marine brought me to the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And whether I was deployed there on the ground or serving as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, I saw firsthand the work that our nation’s civilian men and women do alongside the military— often putting themselves in harm’s way to prevent conflicts and keep Americans safe here at home.”
The general was one of the 151 retired three and four-star generals and admirals who penned a letter earlier this year urging Congress to protect resources for the State Department and USAID.
More than 3.1 million Texas jobs are tied to international trade, and Texas exported over $230 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2016.
“Texas leads the nation when it comes to exporting goods overseas,” said Sarah Thorn, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs for Walmart. “From multinational companies like Walmart, where I work, to small businesses here in San Antonio, American diplomats and development workers help business of all sizes boost exports and grow their bottom line. Whether they are helping businesses navigate foreign markets or ensuring market conditions are right for outside investment, our international affairs programs help American companies— and Texas companies— stay competitive and seize opportunities in the world’s fastest growing economies.”
A strong and growing coalition in Texas, the USGLC’s Texas Advisory Committee brings together nearly 200 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Texas.
“When it comes to our nation’s diplomatic and development programs, a win abroad is a win for San Antonio,” said Jason Gross, USGLC Executive Director. “Not only do our civilian forces help root out national security threats and keep our service members out of harm’s way; they also strengthen our economy and support jobs right here in Texas. As a former intelligence officer, Congressman Will Hurd gets it—these programs are a down payment on a more secure world.”
Also participating in today’s forum was A.J. Rodriguez, Vice President of External Affairs for the Zachry Group and Dr. Abraham Jaquez, President of the Baptist University of the Américas.
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.