The United States will hold its 59th presidential elections on Nov. 3, 2020. According to the Federal Election Commission, an astounding 540 people have announced their candidacy in the race. The following list examines the major 2020 presidential candidates and foreign aid agendas and policies they have set.
2020 Presidential Candidates and Foreign Aid Track Records
- John Delaney (D) announced his candidacy for president on Aug. 10, 2017. While representing Maryland in the House of Representatives, Delaney signed the Ebola Relief Resolution. The resolution issued $500 million in aid and 3,000 troops to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in response to the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014. He also signed the Resolution in Falun Gong, a resolution that condemned non-consenting organ harvesting in China. Delaney also denounced President Trump’s threat in 2018 to cut foreign aid to Central America.“Withdrawing foreign aid will make conditions in Central America worse, ultimately destabilizing the region and multiplying the number of people fleeing those countries – creating larger caravans in the future.”
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) announced she is running for president on Jan. 11, 2019. When the typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, Rep. Gabbard sponsored U.S. assistance constituting of $20 million in aid to typhoon-affected areas and the dispatching of response teams from USAID and the Department of Defense. Rep. Gabbard serves on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs which delegates legislation regarding foreign assistance, foreign policy and diplomacy. In 2015, she proposed a resolution that would call on the Bangladeshi government to protect the human rights of its citizens in the wake of extremism in South Asia. Gabbard also advocated for support for Yemen during the war in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
- Julian Castro (D) announced his candidacy for president on Jan. 12, 2019. Before serving under President Barack Obama as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Castro was the mayor of San Antonio. Castro proposes a more effective legal immigration procedure, suggests joining the Paris Climate Treaty again, believes in making a new NAFTA agreement and insists that the U.S. takes its troops out of Syria.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that she is running for president on Jan. 15, 2019. Sen. Gillibrand co-sponsored the Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017, an act that encourages the participation and inclusion of women in foreign affairs. In 2012, she sponsored the Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense, which supports the survival of the State of Israel. She also co-sponsored the Free Syria Act of 2013, which states that the U.S. should increase humanitarian support for Syria.
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced her candidacy on Jan. 21, 2019. Sen. Harris visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan in 2017 and expressed concern for withdrawing U.S. troops. Sen. Harris serves on the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence and has contributed to numerous pieces of legislation addressing national security.
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) announced his presidential campaign on Jan. 23, 2019. He is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Mayor Buttigieg has stated that it’s the duty of the U.S. to be a leader for the rest of the world and that prioritizing America’s interests alone is a mistake.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she is running for president on Feb. 9, 2019. In the past, she has contributed and signed letters to former presidents and secretaries of state addressing crises, opposing foreign aid cuts and granting refugee admittance. Sen. Warren supports “cutting [the]bloated defense budget” and “reinvesting in diplomacy.”
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced her candidacy on Feb. 10, 2019. In 2017, Sen. Klobuchar voted for the Women, Peace and Security Act along with Sen. Gillibrand. As a senator, her foreign policy priorities include “advancing peace and security in the Middle East, combating Iran’s destabilizing activity in Syria and combating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced he is running for president on Feb. 1, 2019. Booker has served on the Committee on Foreign Relations, which contributes to constructing foreign policies and keeping relations peaceful between the U.S. and other countries. In 2016, Sen. Booker traveled to the Middle East and Europe to ensure Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
- Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced he is running for president on Feb. 19, 2019. Unlike Sen. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, his current candidacy focuses on foreign policy. Sen. Sanders believes the U.S. should pursue partnership and unity among countries. He has stated that the UN should be the center of American foreign policy.
President Donald Trump announced that he is running for re-election on Jan. 20, 2017. As part of his administration’s foreign policy, President Trump signed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, creating the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC). This organization will be in charge of making equity investments and loans in local currencies with the goal of creating stability and economic growth in developing countries. The USDFC will be in effect on Oct. 1, 2019.
While all of the current 2020 presidential candidates are Democrats, Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, R, has opened a presidential exploratory committee. As the election nears, more major 2020 presidential candidates will launch their campaigns, adding to this list of the major 2020 presidential candidates and foreign policy agendas.
– Jodie Filenius