SEATTLE — Representative Ed Royce (R-CA-39) became the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman in January of 2013. However, his active voice has been guiding the Foreign Affairs Committee much longer than that.
Throughout his 12 years of service in Congress, he has been a champion for global poverty reduction efforts. In his initial years of service, Royce served as the chair of the Africa Subcommittee. From 1997 to 2004, he spent his leadership skills fighting for the rights of Africa.
He held more than 70 hearings dealing with improving the lives of Africans and improving relations with the U.S. and Africa. Hearings confronted the Rwanda genocide, the Darfur genocide and were held to address war crimes in each.
Royce also aided the African government delegation in Nigeria and helped the country elect its first president.
Royce’s largest goal in Africa has been to increase trade between the U.S. and Africa in order to enhance the African economy and its growth as seen through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In 2004, Chairman Royce participated in the U.S.-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. This event allowed him to experience AGOA’s positive impact.
Apart from African countries, Royce has also had a leading role in relations with Iran, Korea, India and Vietnam. In Vietnam, the Congressman has worked hard to try and improve human rights conditions. He has been apart of many pieces of legislation that allow the Vietnamese people to obtain religious and humanitarian freedoms that they never before were able to enjoy. Some of these laws include the Freedom of Information in Vietnam Act, the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act and the Vietnam Human Rights Act.
Most recently, Chairman Royce has been involved with efforts to promote global entrepreneurship by increasing internet access in underdeveloped countries. Royce introduced the Digital Global Access Policy Act (H.R. 5537), which aims to help people in these countries to better benefit from the opportunities the internet offers. The House passed the bill in September 2016 and the legislation goes next to the Senate for consideration.
“Internet access provides a lot of opportunities. In the developing world, it drives economic growth and bolsters democracy, transparency and human rights,” Royce explained in a statement.
Efforts to improve global stability by Royce also extend to the environment. He is responsible for founding the Congressional International Conservation Caucus. This group aims to promote global natural resource conservation.
Through this caucus, Royce has led Congress efforts of authorizing the Congo Basin Forest Partnership known as CBFP. This particular partnership consists of six different countries, all aiming to preserve the rainforest in Africa, promote good government in the country, and help extend tourism so as to increase the countries economic welfare.
Chairman Royce has done huge things for global poverty reduction efforts and for the globe itself. As he continues to serve as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, the eventual elimination of global poverty continues to be a plausible accomplishment.
– Katie Grovatt