Trump’s Proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget


SEATTLE, Washington — President Trump recently released his budget requests for the 2021 Fiscal Year. It proposes an 8 percent cut to the International Affairs Budget, which would reduce finances to international organizations like the United Nations. This article shows the effects of Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget.

Trump’s Proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget

Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget calls for $44.1 billion. This is a cut of $11.6 billion from the 2020 Fiscal Year (FY20) International Affairs Budget of $55.7 billion. The largest proposed cuts are to money that would have gone toward fighting the global AIDS crisis. This includes cuts to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

There would be a 26 percent cut to PEPFAR, bringing the amount from $4.3 billion in FY20 to only $3.2 billion. The Global Fund would see a 58 percent cut if the proposal is passed. In FY20 the budget allocated $1.58 billion toward this fund. Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget proposes a cut down to $658 million.

These cuts in fighting global AIDS come after President Trump’s 2019 declared goal to beat HIV/AIDS in America by 2030. This cut is also contrary to the U.S.’ priorly set commitments to fighting global AIDS. While there is more funding going toward fighting the U.S. domestic AIDS crisis, many social services such as Medicare and Medicaid, would see a reduction in funding. These are programs on which many people who are HIV/AIDS positive rely.

The proposal would also eliminate discretionary funds for unplanned expenses overseas by the United States Agency for International Development and 12 other agencies that work with the State Department. Also, funding would be eliminated for a food aid program, economic accounts that give direct assistance to specific countries in Europe and Asia and for the Asia Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers women and supports good governance.

Tom Hart, North American Executive Director for the ONE Campaign, noted that, “This budget is yet another cruel example of the Trump Administration’s retreat from the world’s poorest. It’s pretty simple, you can’t fight disease and lift people out of poverty by gutting programs that are doing just that.”

Increases in the Budget

While the budget proposes deep cuts, Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget fully funds Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that helps give vaccines to children in the world’s poorest countries. This is unlike the last two years when Gavi was not fully funded. Every year, 1.5 million people die from vaccine-preventable illnesses. Full funding for Gavi would greatly help reduce this death toll.

Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs Budget also requests more than double the FY20 budget to run the new Development Finance Corporation and $200 million for Ivanka Trump’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The money going toward the Development Finance Corporation is funded by cuts to other programs. The corporation is meant to help “billions of private-sector dollars flow into Africa by making it easier for American entrepreneurs to do business there.”

Trump has proposed increases to budget costs toward a U.S.-Mexico border wall, preventing veteran suicides and putting more money toward the U.S. domestic AIDS crisis. There would also be a 6 percent increase in Federal research and development, which studies things such as AI and QIS. It includes a $2.7 billion increase in NASA’s budget, a 3.2 percent increase to the Department of Homeland Security and a 0.1 percent increase in the Department of Defence’s budget.

The Future of Foreign Aid

Currently, this is just the proposal, nothing is set in stone. However, the proposal sends a strong message to Congress. Congress will be the decider of whether Trump’s proposed 2021 International Affairs budget will be passed. Now is a better time than ever to reach out to Congress to prevent slashes to the International Affairs Budget. One can find out more about how to reach out to Congress in less than two minutes by visiting The Borgen Project’s guide to reaching out to Congress here.

When the United States invests in foreign aid, it increases national security by helping nations develop more stable societies. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen has said that “the more we cut the International Affairs Budget, the higher the risk for longer and deadlier military operations.” With this in mind, these proposed cuts to the budget would decrease national security. Foreign aid increases national security and global health security.

Emily Joy Oomen
Photo: Flickr


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