March 24, 2016

Representative Brooks, General Mutter, 150+ Indiana Leaders Urge U.S. Engagement Overseas

Caterpillar’s Bill Lane, Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar, and Building Tomorrow’s George Srour join call for strategic investments in American global leadership, economic development, and diplomacy


INDIANAPOLIS — Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to discuss how America’s engagement abroad spurs economic growth here in Indiana and promotes our national security.

“From countering terrorism to stopping global pandemics, now is not the time for our nation to pull back. It’s vital that we continue to strengthen our nation’s investments in development and diplomacy alongside a strong defense,” said U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks. “American leadership around the world is more critical than ever for our national security and Indiana’s economic prosperity.”

This discussion comes as Senator Richard Lugar and Representative Lee Hamilton launched the new USGLC Indiana Advisory Committee in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star, writing “The truth is that while our international affairs programs make up a mere 1 percent of the federal budget, they save us an immeasurable amount in taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, the lives of our service members.” The Indiana Advisory Committee is comprised of 61 leaders from across the state, including elected officials, veterans, former ambassadors, and leading academics who believe that our nation benefits when America leads in the world. (For the full text of the Op-Ed, click here.)

 “This week’s attacks in Brussels remind us that today’s global threats require all our tools of national security and influence. Alongside our military, our nation’s development and diplomacy are more critical than ever to keep our country safe.  America cannot afford to turn inward and we must continue to build strategic partnerships with our friends and allies that counter extremism – and ultimately create a better, safer world,” said Lt. General Carol Mutter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.).

“Over half of our exports right now – and we export more than we ever have – go to countries that were aid recipients 20 or 30 years ago. Chile, Peru, Colombia, Indonesia, South Africa, these are our big markets today,” said Bill Lane, former Caterpillar Senior Director for Global Development & Corporate Affairs. “When you’re in Africa and you see a country or a continent is being ravaged by AIDS, they’re not going to be buying your products. They’re going to be focusing on the here and now.”

Indianapolis is home to some of the largest global brands and organizations with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. Last year, Indiana exported more than $46.9 billion in goods and services overseas, and trade supported more than one in five local jobs, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the state.

“Here in Indianapolis, the USGLC has assembled a distinguished group of leaders around the state – made up of business executives, faith leaders, humanitarians, civic officials, and military veterans. We all believe that America must continue to be a global leader – and that America’s role in the world matters in this election – not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the smart thing to do,” said Kevin Brinegar, President and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

“Today, the U.S. is providing foreign assistance in new and more effective ways by providing people a hand up, not just a hand out. At Building Tomorrow, Inc. we’re proud to be part of this effort,” said George Srour, founder of Building Tomorrow. “We’re a growing organization with big dreams – we aim to construct enough primary schools in East Africa so that every child who wants to learn, has the opportunity to do so.”

Liz Schrayer, President and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, said, “From Brussels to Zika, Hoosiers get how interconnected our world has become – and how important America’s small, but strategic investment in development and diplomacy is for keeping us safe and creating opportunity right here in Indiana. This morning’s crowd of business, veteran, and community leaders underscores why strengthening America’s global leadership is so important to Indiana.”


The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.orgis a broad-based influential network of 400 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.