President Trump’s Threat to Cut Foreign Aid
President Trump’s administration has proposed cutting the foreign aid budget, hindering the country’s ability to fund outreach organizations and decreasing the country’s global influence. Such threats limit low-middle income countries’ ability to grow out of poverty and increase potential security threats. While President Trump claims that the U.S. spends a great deal of money on foreign aid (currently $54.4 billion), this figure makes up only 0.26 percent of the country’s total GDP.

President Trump’s Threat to Cut Foreign Aid

The U.S. spends $598 billion on the military budget, according to The National Priorities Project. Congress has consistently rejected the President’s proposals to cut funding for Central America in an effort to promote peace and assistance, as well as decrease illegal immigration. However, negotiations are becoming difficult as the current administration increases threats to slash aid. President Trump is implementing a “New Africa Strategy” with foreign aid, where he plans to only spend aid in foreign countries that will further U.S. priorities and be of benefit to the country. The administration stated that they will no longer provide aid to countries working against U.S. interests.

Foreign Aid, Domestic Improvement

These measures neglect the fact that many countries that the U.S. sends foreign aid to become consumers of U.S. goods once they are self-sufficient. In fact, 43 of the top 50 nations consuming U.S. agriculture products are former aid recipients and reaping a large return effect.
Foreign aid strengthens the U.S. economy by creating more markets and trading partners. For example, the Marshall Plan involved the U.S. sending aid to rebuild Western Europe — a plan that proved cost-effective due to its market creation that resulted in strengthening the U.S. economy. Studies suggest that rather than neglecting nations that don’t directly help the U.S., more aid should actually be sent to countries that resort to violence.

More Aid, More Allies

The countries who pose the greatest security threat to the U.S. are the ones receiving the least aid, according to Foreign Policy; however, by investing in health and development instead of the military, the U.S. could actually increase security. Countries receiving health and development aid tend to move towards peace and favor the U.S. By giving aid to countries and allowing them to rise up towards a more stable living environment, they become more peaceful and, in turn, better allies for the United States.
These facts gained from studies on foreign aid suggest that in order to promote U.S. influence and international economic growth and decrease security threats and illegal immigration, foreign aid should be increased.
– Anna Power
Photo: USAID