FORT COLLINS, Colorado — Every year, the U.S. president releases a budget that outlines their vision for the nation and reallocates funds depending on how issues are prioritized that year. This year is no different, as President Biden recently released his $6.8 trillion budget request for 2024 which includes $70.5 billion in Department of State and miscellaneous international program funding.
Biden’s proposed that the 2024 International Affairs Budget focuses on supporting global diplomacy and growth and investing in foreign policy programs to ensure protected national interests. Foreign involvement is a recurring and growing priority in Biden’s presidency term, as Biden’s proposed 2024 International Affairs Budget allocates 11% more than 2023’s budget, according to Devex. While this amount leverages only 1% of his overall budget, this is still a step forward for the U.S. to increase its foreign aid spending, particularly from the previous administration.
The proposed 2024 International Affairs Budget highlights different global initiatives, detailed below. Progress in many of these initiatives would also equate to progress toward goals such as reducing global poverty, addressing food crises, defending human rights, promoting health issues and reducing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Further assert American dominance and outcompete China
- Advance infrastructure in developing countries
- Manage global energy security and climate change impacts
- Enhance efforts for global health and health security issues
- Modernize and further invest in diplomatic ties to the Indo-Pacific region
- Increase support for marginalized communities around the world
- Bolster support for impoverished communities in Central America and Haiti
- Increase stability for hemispheric migration and regional border management
- Strengthen global democracy and human rights advocation efforts
- Alleviate humanitarian and food security issues
Biden’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) reflects most of these priorities. Biden established PGII, a diplomatic partnership, alongside fellow G7 leaders to better meet the needs of low and middle-income countries. The G7 is an intergovernmental group that consists of the world’s most advanced economies, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.K. and U.S.
At the 2021 G7 Summit, G7 leaders determined that quality and sustainable infrastructure would not only make a philanthropic difference but also would help diversify supply chains and opportunities for American workers.
Raising Funds for the Budget
Working alongside fellow G7 partners, Biden plans to procure much of these funds through his PGII initiative through grants, federal financing and private sector investments. With these investments alone, Biden estimates that the U.S. can mobilize approximately $200 billion in capital funds between 2021 and 2027, which excludes additional investment from other multilateral institutions and sovereign wealth funds, according to The White House.
One challenge that stands between now and 2026 is Biden’s term completion in 2024. If he has no plans for reelection that year, it is possible that a new president could withdraw from the G7 partnership participation and stop funding the programs mentioned in Biden’s proposed 2024 International Affairs Budget.
As the U.S. transitioned from the Trump administration to the Biden administration in 2021, there was a corresponding increase in foreign aid spending. In Biden’s first budget request, he emphasized that American foreign policy needs diplomacy and international cooperation to address unprecedented global challenges. To this day, he has remained loyal to that sentiment.
While Biden’s proposed 2024 International Affairs Budget warrants celebration, it has not been finalized yet. It still needs to pass through the Congress budget resolution process first, which can take up to September 30, 2023, the end of the fiscal year, according to Devex. While the House and Senate have huge roles in influencing the budget’s direction, they both ultimately represent their respective populations and their population’s needs. During this process, the House and Senate will likely make changes and compromises to the budget before its approval. This is why mass advocacy is important if one favors maintaining a robust International Affairs Budget.
Biden’s recently proposed budget presents a promising future for the U.S. in terms of global diplomacy and growth. This budget’s initiatives highlight the diverse needs of low and middle-income countries and also aim to protect national interests, but must receive proper investments from federal and private sectors to do so.
– Anthony Lee