February 18, 2016

Representative Perlmutter, USTDA Director Zak, 160+ Colorado Leaders Urge U.S. Engagement Overseas

CoBank President Mary McBride and DaVita Village Trust Director Lori Vaclavik join call for strategic investments in American global leadership, economic development, and diplomacy

DENVER — Representative Ed Perlmutter and USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to discuss how America’s engagement abroad spurs economic growth here in Colorado and promotes our national security.

“It’s critical that we strengthen all our foreign policy tools – development and diplomacy alongside defense – not just for our national security, but also for demonstrating our values as a nation,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter. “Ensuring the U.S. remains a competitive and global leader is equally important for the success of Colorado businesses and future growth of our local economy.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to describe how USTDA’s win-win program helps to both foster sustainable growth in emerging economies and to create jobs across America and right here in Colorado,” said Leocadia I. Zak, Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. “Our activities advance our national interests, provide a critical return on investment and build lasting partnerships between Colorado firms and the world’s fastest-growing markets.”

Denver is headquarters to some of the largest global brands and organizations with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. Last year, Colorado exported more than $20 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.

“The global economy is growing more integrated every day, and growth for U.S. businesses, including those in Colorado, will increasingly depend on serving markets outside of our borders. America’s strategic investments in diplomacy and development help to open new markets for U.S.-produced goods and services and are critical to advancing our nation’s broader economic interests,“ said Mary McBride, the President of CoBank.

“Our nation is engaging across the world in new and more effective ways by providing people a hand up, not just a hand out. American aid agencies are building bridges and creating sustainable communities globally,” said Lori Vaclavik, Director of DaVita Village Trust. “This matters to us here in Colorado, because together we’re demonstrating our nation’s highest values.”

Jason Gross, Executive Director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, said, “In today’s interconnected world what happens overseas affects us here at home. From violent extremism in the Middle East, to pandemics in West Africa and Latin America, to the instability in Central America, we cannot afford to step back, and leaders here in Denver understand this fully. They recognize how important our development and diplomacy tools are to keeping us safe and creating opportunity here in Colorado.”

Costing a mere one percent of the entire U.S. federal budget, international affairs programs supports all of America’s civilian tools of development and diplomacy to strengthen our national security, build economic prosperity, and demonstrate our nation’s humanitarian values around the world.

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.