June 2, 2021

USGLC Virtual Town Hall with Rep. Jan Schakowsky Highlights How Investments in America’s Global Leadership Combat COVID-19 and Support Local Health, Economy, and National Security

Watch the full event here: https://youtu.be/sMIp5H2UHls

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a meeting with Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) and more than 75 local business, political, and community leaders, stakeholders from across the political spectrum agreed that America’s investments in global leadership through U.S. diplomacy and development have important impacts throughout the state of Illinois—and in communities around the world, particularly those facing major COVID-19 outbreaks.

“While our country continues to manage the COVID-19 crisis at home, global surges will continue to threaten our own recovery, which is why America’s leadership abroad is all the more critical to help our allies and friends in need and put an end to this pandemic for good,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “In my years in Congress and as Senior Chief Deputy Whip, I have pushed for stronger investments in U.S. development and diplomacy programs—from women’s empowerment and girls’ education to human rights and climate change. These investments not only create a better, healthier world for our families and communities, but for those around the world too. And as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to keep in mind that our health and economic recovery depends on the world’s recovery as well.”

“In her more than two decades on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Schakowsky has distinguished herself as a champion of American’s global leadership—most recently leading legislation to combat human rights abuses and violence against women, while also pushing for greater U.S. involvement in the global response to COVID-19,” said Alex Grant, Director, Heartland Initiative, USGLC. “Like her fellow Illinois lawmakers Senator Dick Durbin and Reps. Cheri Bustos, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Adam Kinzinger, Congresswoman Schakowsky is calling for stronger investments in global health, diplomacy, and foreign assistance to confront COVID-19 and other global issues, which have profound impacts across Illinois, particularly when it comes to our own health, economic recovery, and future prosperity.”

Many of today’s participants are members of the USGLC’s Illinois Advisory Committee, a strong and growing coalition that brings together more than 130 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who advocate for strong development and diplomacy resources alongside defense to support U.S. global engagement.

As today’s participants emphasized, Illinois is a beneficiary of America’s global investments. 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.

In addition to Congresswoman Schakowsky, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi and Cheri Bustos have also spoken out on these issues in recent USGLC town halls, calling for greater American leadership abroad to help address the impacts of COVID-19 and other global challenges that ultimately impact communities back home.

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.