The Case for U.S. Global Leadership
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Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition hosted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for a program on the importance of maintaining America’s legacy of leadership and support for the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Speaking to an audience of businesses at the Chamber, Secretary Geithner emphasized the role of the MDBs in fostering opportunities for U.S. businesses, creating jobs for American workers, and promoting our national security interests and humanitarian goals abroad.
He stated: “Having emerged from crisis, the global economy today still faces a great many challenges, from a difficult recovery in the United States to ongoing uncertainty in Europe. Here at home, we are intensely focused on creating jobs, increasing competitiveness, and laying a strong foundation for long-term prosperity. Stronger global growth is essential to achieving these objectives. If the emerging markets and developing nations grow, we can export more. We can expand our businesses. We can hire more workers. That is why U.S. leadership in global development matters—because if we are going to benefit from global growth, we need to support it. The multilateral development banks (MDBs) are vital contributors to this growth equation.”
U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President for International Affairs Myron Brilliant hosted Secretary Geithner. As Brilliant explained: “The International Affairs Budget represents less than 1.5% of all federal spending, and the programs and agencies it supports, such as MDBs, play a vital enabling role for U.S. companies to tap foreign markets and create jobs and prosperity at home. The Chamber strongly supports the capital increase for the World Bank and the other MDBs in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.”
The Chamber recently sent a letter to Congress underscoring these institutions’ vital role in fostering prosperity, and half a dozen other business groups signed on as well. The letter explained that the Banks’ loans and expertise help developing countries become reliable trading partners and open up their markets for U.S. goods.
Secretary Geithner expressed appreciation for the recent Senate action in support of these programs and said that he looks forward to working with Congress in this critical period to maintain America’s leadership in these vital institutions. The Senate Appropriations Committee on September 22 approved its FY12 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which funds the International Affairs Budget. The budget will be finalized later this year.