Nathanael Welford-Small: Urges Congress to avoid cutting foreign aid

  • jacoblund

Published: 6/6/2018 8:07:44 PM
Urges Congress to avoid cutting foreign aid

Foreign aid, despite being only 1 percent of our federal budget, has a big impact for the United States.

Foreign aid has been a great boon for the U.S. economy as development helps open new markets for exports. Massachusetts is one of the top exporters in the U.S., and our goods and services are sold around the globe. Western Massachusetts doesn’t currently match the exports of the east, but has seen double-digit growth in exports in recent years, and still has much to gain from growing markets.

Numerous companies based in western Massachusetts export goods and services, from huge companies like MassMutual that sell insurance expertise and services abroad, to smaller exporters, like SpitJack, of Easthampton. And many countries we export to were once recipients of U.S. aid.

Of the five biggest importers of Massachusetts goods, three of them, Japan, Germany, and Mexico have been direct recipients of U.S. aid. As the top region for export growth in Massachusetts, we will continue to reap the benefits of U.S. aid, from our current trading partners to new developing markets.

Strong evidence also suggests that foreign aid will improve our national security. Moving people into the global middle class increases regional security. Rarely do criminal or terrorists networks rise up in prosperous countries. These networks must take advantage of societies fractured by poverty.

Hundreds of generals and diplomats agree. As Secretary of Defense General James Mattis said, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

The need for increased U.S. security rings especially true in western Massachusetts. Many of our young people serve our country and the best way to keep them safe is to keep them home. Foreign aid can help achieve that.

Yet, foreign aid is under threat in Washington. We must act to defend our foreign aid budget from cuts, not only for the livelihood of people overseas, but for our own prosperity and security.

I implore you to call your members of Congress or email them at https://borgen and ask them to support foreign aid for a better future.

Nathanael Welford-Small


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