March 9, 2023
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) President and CEO Liz Schrayer released the following statement on the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 International Affairs Budget Request, which includes $70.6 billion in discretionary funding and $13.1 billion in mandatory funding to compete with China:
In the face of escalating global threats – from China’s growing influence to Russia’s war in Ukraine to historic humanitarian crises with skyrocketing levels of migration, poverty, and hunger worldwide – the Administration’s budget proposal to strengthen America’s diplomacy and development tools is both smart and strategic.
The Administration’s request takes into account how much the world has grown in complexity over the past year, providing critical resources to bolster America’s frontline international affairs agencies and programs. While instability halfway across the globe may seem far away for some, it is directly impacting the daily lives of American families, whether it is higher prices for gas and groceries or supply chain disruptions affecting American businesses and workers.
With unprecedented global competition and instability, now is not the time to short-change these critical civilian tools that are vital to protecting America’s economic and security interests. This echoes the message of nearly 20 former U.S. Combatant Commanders who recently wrote to Congress highlighting the imperative of continuing to “invest in our nation’s civilian national security toolkit, alongside a strong defense, to ensure our nation can meet the unprecedented scale and scope of today’s global challenges.”
Not surprisingly, the Administration’s proposal recognizes that the International Affairs Budget is a powerful tool in America’s strategy to compete with China. In fact, today’s proposal comes as China’s development spending and financing has increased by 270% over the last ten years. While Congress will certainly debate the specifics of the Administration’s innovative proposal, I have no doubt that leveraging U.S. diplomacy and global development tools, such as increased investments in development financing, economic assistance, infrastructure projects, and public-private partnerships are a clear win when it comes to America’s China strategy.
Congress will now have its say on priorities for funding needs, but the good news is that support for development and diplomacy remains strong and bipartisan. As Congress turns to its Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process, we believe the Administration’s request must be the floor in any negotiations. The USGLC is committed to working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure international affairs resources meet the realities on the global stage and protect the security and economic interests of the American people.
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.