Two Congressman and Global Washington Founder Argue Foreign Aid is a Critical Investment

Yesterday, Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA), as well as Global Washington founder Bill Clapp published an op-ed in The Seattle Times in which they demonstrate how U.S. foreign assistance promotes trade and strengthens U.S. security. In the context of the budget debate, specifically Congressman Paul Ryan’s FY’12 budget proposal which hit the House floor last Thursday, they argue we cannot afford to cut foreign assistance programs now because doing so would cost us more in the long run. They end writing, “Let your elected representatives and community know that you support crucial investments in our safety, economic interests and long-term prosperity.” Read the full piece here and see excerpts below:

“Foreign aid is far from wasteful spending: Dollars spent abroad help maintain America’s economic and political leadership, as well as support our vital national-security interests. These programs have amplified benefits for global stability through contributions to poverty alleviation, health and disease prevention, and infrastructure-building worldwide.”

“Investment in foreign aid is an investment in global relationships and our shared financial future. As developing nations become more prosperous, they will become less dependent on assistance, and Americans will benefit from our established relationships with these emerging markets. Washington state — the fourth-largest U.S. exporter in 2009 — would reap significant economic benefits from such opportunities.”

“Foreign assistance is the first line of our national defense, making us safer by stabilizing volatile nations. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates emphasized, “development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”

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