September 21, 2015

Senator Johnson, General Conway and Top Milwaukee Leaders Urge U.S. Engagement Overseas

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s Kurt Bauer and Caterpillar’s Bill Lane join Milwaukee leaders to discuss how national security and the Wisconsin economy are linked to strategic investments in American global leadership

Wisconsin Panel

Full video of the event:
Please see additional speaker video links below.

MILWAUKEESenator Ron Johnson, Kurt Bauer and retired General James Conway joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) in Milwaukee today to discuss how America’s development and diplomacy efforts abroad spur economic growth and promote our national security. The discussion comes as the Syrian refugee crisis and foreign policy takes an increasingly central role in the 2016 presidential election.

“America has been a phenomenal force for good in the world. The fact of the matter is that foreign aid, if it is spent well, it’s money very well spent,” said Senator Johnson. “This small one percent of our budget – let’s not demagogue against it, but instead celebrate the fact that we’re willing to lead the world with the right ideas, with an economic model that works, with compassion, and with a shared goal and purpose that we want every person in the world and every country in the world to succeed.”

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway stated, “I’ve seen throughout my career how the work of the State Department and our global development agencies is critical to America’s global leadership and reinforces our objectives in the military. When we invest in diplomacy and development, we can prevent conflict before it arises and reduce the need to send our servicemen and women into harm’s way.” General Conway served as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corp from 2006 to 2010.

“Over 87 percent of Wisconsin exporters are small or medium sized businesses,” said Kurt Bauer, President & CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “The bottom line is that a stable world is good for commerce and trade among nations fosters peace.”

USGLC Executive Director Will Davis said, “It’s great to be in Wisconsin because the leaders here absolutely get why American global leadership matters. They understand just how critical this small, but strategic investment our nation makes in development and diplomacy advances America’s interests abroad and back here at home.”

Milwaukee is headquarters to some of the largest global brands and organizations in the world with rapidly growing international operations in emerging markets. In 2014, Wisconsin exported more than $23.4 billion in goods and services to foreign markets, and trade supported one and five jobs in the state, making American global leadership a strategic issue for the Milwaukee community.

“Our exports are more important than ever before, including all our mining equipment we make around Milwaukee,” said Caterpillar’s Bill Lane, Director of Global Government & Corporate Affairs. “Today our big markets are markets that were recipients of American aid forty years ago.”

John Kenworthy, Executive Director of Brick by Brick for Tanzania!, said, “With the continued threat of ISIS, the refugee crisis, and new challenges popping up everyday, it’s more important than ever for America to maintain a strong role in this world.”

Full video of the event:
Senator Ron Johnson:
General James Conway:
Kurt Bauer, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce:
John Kenworthy, Brick by Brick Tanzania!:
Bill Lane, Caterpillar:
Will Davis, USGLC:
Panel Start:

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( is 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.