See below for a guest post from MFAN Partner Professional Services Council. The post originally appeared on PSC’s Smart Contracting blog.
With the congressional super committee and others mulling the return on investment for various government programs, there has been a misguided call to cut foreign aid and other international development assistance. It seems nobody is really asking, or bothering to answer, the question: What do we get for the development dollar? The answer: jobs, economic growth, and security abroad—and at home.
An October Professional Services Council white paper for Congress and other stakeholders explains how international development assistance, often delivered through contracts with U.S. firms, does more than create strong foreign economies and governments. The white paper explains that foreign assistance benefits Americans by creating American jobs, establishing strong and stable allies, and opening new markets to U.S. companies.
Among the key highlights noted in the white paper:
• More than 10 million U.S. jobs are tied to exports and U.S. companies gain access to the growing markets of the developing world via international assistance and development spending. (p. 3)
• U.S. aid has allowed countries such as South Korea to successfully “graduate” from recipient to donor nation and cemented the United States’ role as a favored trade partner. (p. 3)
• Studies show that every $1 spent through trade assistance generates $53 in U.S. exports. (p. 6)
• As troops drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, every $4 spent by State will save $45 in Defense Department spending. (p. 6)
With that return on investment, we can’t afford not to continue foreign assistance.