October 15, 2014

Senator Ayotte and Governor Tom Ridge Urge Development, Diplomacy Key in Protecting National Security, Boosting NH Economy

Manchester, NH — Today top business and community leaders joined Senator Kelly Ayotte and Governor Tom Ridge for a roundtable discussion on how America’s efforts abroad are directly linked to New Hampshire’s security and economic prosperity, amidst global crisis.

Both leaders are in support of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s bipartisan effort, bringing together top New Hampshire business, faith, and veteran leaders to raise awareness of how America’s development and diplomacy programs create jobs in the state and protect U.S. national security. As 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S. and one in five New Hampshire jobs are tied to trade, U.S. investments abroad are critical to the state’s economic future.

In addition to building economic prosperity, U.S. foreign assistance is a powerful tool used to protect America’s national security by combating terror threats, promoting global stability, and preventing conflict before it occurs.

“I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s event in New Hampshire and discuss how U.S. leadership and international engagement promote America’s security and prosperity,” said Senator Kelly Ayotte. “When combined with American military strength second to none, I believe U.S. trade, development, and diplomacy today can often prevent more costly conflict tomorrow.”

“Senator Ayotte and Governor Ridge are two of the most effective voices and champions for U.S. global leadership with a clear understanding of the threats we face today,” said President & CEO Liz Schrayer. “We applaud them for their leadership and for their strong support of development and diplomacy programs, which are vital to advancing America’s interests around the world and to spurring job growth in New Hampshire.”

Last year, New Hampshire exported more than $4.3 billion in goods and services to foreign markets, making U.S. international engagement a strategic issue for the community.

Rich Ashooh, Strategic Director of BAE Systems and Katrina Swett, President, Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice also delivered remarks at the event. Nearly 200 local business, military and community members were also in attendance.

U.S. development and diplomacy programs funded by the International Affairs Budget make up just one percent of federal spending, and include diplomatic relations, security assistance to allies and strategic partners, trade and economic relations, health clinics and schools in the developing world, and humanitarian relief efforts.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.