SEATTLE — The U.S. president is one of the world’s most important players in global issues, and his or her policies concerning foreign aid greatly influence global poverty and instability. As voters consider which candidate will make the best president in this fall’s election, foreign policy should be high on their lists.
Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is an experienced diplomat and global leader. Impact 2016, a non-partisan educational initiative of the USGLC, lists Clinton’s many global successes, including her work as First Lady and Secretary of State. She has worked to improve U.S. economic growth while fighting global poverty, advocated for the rights of women and spoken out for Syrian refugees.
Here are three interesting quotes from Clinton herself about her stance on foreign aid.
- “As we help these nations meet their own challenges and grow their own economies, their men and women will buy their first cars, their first computers and everything from movies to medical equipment. And many new consumers will buy them from us.”Clinton’s 2011 speech at a conference hosted by the USGLC was in direct support of foreign aid and the U.S. International Affairs Budget. ONE campaign reported that her speech supported a strong civilian presence in developing nations that will lead to more opportunities for the U.S. She used the quote above as well as the Marshall Plan, which helped to develop Europe and establish its economic relationship with the U.S., as examples of her argument for increasing U.S. aid.
- “…the jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere…It therefore must be central to U.S. foreign policy.”In her farewell address as Secretary of State, Clinton highlighted successes of the U.S. in global leadership during her time as Secretary and presented the struggles yet to come. She stressed the importance of empowering women and girls through government programs like the Office of Global Women’s Issues, which she strengthened during her time as Secretary. Clinton’s emphasis on improving global conditions for women shows a dedication to reducing poverty by empowering a vulnerable global demographic and improving societies as a result.
- “Now, development was once the province of humanitarians, charities, and governments looking to gain allies in global struggles. Today it is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative—as central to advancing American interests and solving global problems as diplomacy and defense.”In a 2010 speech at The Center for Global Development, Clinton stated that global development is integral to foreign policy. She recognized that U.S. citizens often ponder how foreign aid and development efforts affect their lives and cited examples of global instability, like terrorism and violent extremism, as reasons to invest in and improve developing nations. The appeal to a humanitarian argument went as far as to moralize the duty to give aid to the developing world.
Clinton’s vision for foreign aid seems likely to support increasing aid and government-funded programs that provide services to developing countries. With a history of qualifications and successes in foreign relations and a strong humanitarian flare to her platform, Clinton may catch the eye of voters concerned with global issues. Voters will use the words and deeds of the candidates, these quotes among them, to decide which presidential candidate will best address global poverty and the stability of the world.
For more quotes from Clinton on foreign aid, see this article from The Borgen Project.
– Addie Pazzynski