NEW YORK — The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, importing and exporting the most goods and services. With 98 percent of its consumers residing outside of the country, one would think the contribution to foreign aid is a top priority of the government’s budget. Investing in foreign aid creates jobs and improves national security. It is common misconception that the U.S. is doing enough to help the world’s poor. The reality is, the U.S. utilizes less than one percent of its budget for foreign aid.
The World Trade Organization has conducted studies on the benefits of international trade. As countries develop, growth can become stagnant without the help of aid from other countries.
“Trade can play an important part in reducing poverty, because it boosts economic growth and the poor tend to benefit from that faster growth,” the WTO states in the report of their study. Developing countries create developing people who become educated and pursue careers, ultimately making them consumers. The more they buy U.S. goods, the more jobs become available in the U.S.
An important benefit of international trade is the improvement in national security. With allies across the globe, the U.S. maintains communication with countries by providing aid and keeping peace.
“Funding that enables us to engage with allies, competitors and adversaries helps us meet growing threats to our struggling economy and our security.” says Patrick Leahy of US News.
If funding to foreign aid is reduced, the countries receiving assistance will suffer, which can affect the mutual peace.
The solution to a peaceful society seems simple; however, some believe in the idea of isolationism. Senator Rand Paul has expressed his wish to eventually cut off foreign aid completely, in order to maintain the U.S.’s trillion dollar debt. He argues to cut foreign aid to countries who have shown disapproval of the U.S. Others disagree with the Senator.
“Eliminating foreign aid in the short or long term would have horrendous humanitarian and national security consequences,” Jennifer Rubin, of the Washington Post, has said.
Investing in foreign aid can lead to more than feeding children and creating better living conditions for poor countries. It promotes peace and wealth, not only in the U.S. but across the world.
– Kimberly Quitzon
Sources: World Trade Organization, The Washington Post, U.S. News