April 14, 2021

USGLC Virtual Town Hall with Rep. Cheri Bustos Highlights How Investing in America’s Global Leadership Is a Win for Illinois’ Health, Economy, and National Security

Watch the full event here: https://youtu.be/Z2NbiO_iG9I

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and more than 100 Illinois political, business, and community leaders convened in a virtual town hall, where they agreed on the critical importance of America’s diplomacy and development programs to address COVID-19 and other global challenges that affect the health and safety of all Americans—in Illinois and across the country.

“COVID-19 has called attention to the fact that we are more interconnected than ever before — which is why American leadership is essential to address the pandemic and other complex global challenges. Our health, security, and prosperity are all connected to what happens overseas, so we must stay engaged with our allies and partners on issues that ultimately impact us back home,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17). “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work alongside my colleagues in Congress to increase strategic investments in U.S. trade, diplomacy and development efforts and the international affairs budget to help our country deal with today’s complex challenges and create greater political and economic stability in communities across Illinois and around the world.”

“We’re pleased to have Congresswoman Bustos join us today to talk about American global leadership and why it matters for Illinois, especially in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jason Gross, Executive Director, USGLC. “As a leading voice on both the House Appropriations and Agriculture Committees, she has consistently spoken out in support of America’s diplomacy and development programs, which are now tremendously important to help other countries recover from the pandemic, while ultimately helping Illinois’ economy recover. It’s a win-win situation. We’re not only connecting products made and grown in Illinois to new customers abroad, but we’re also helping to create new opportunities for American farmers to feed the world.”

Many of today’s participants are members of the USGLC’s Illinois Advisory Committee, a strong and growing coalition brings together more than 130 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand how American global leadership is directly tied to the health, security, and prosperity of communities and families of all Americans.

America’s global leadership also directly impacts Illinois’ economy and local jobs. In 2019, Illinois exported more than $59.9 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 1.59 million jobs in the state. U.S. agencies have also worked alongside Illinois companies to represent their interests overseas—financing over $2 billion in exports through the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank since 2014 and $2.4 million in exports through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency since 1992.

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.