Thursday, March 02, 2006

PA Pitches International Affairs

Congress wants to make cuts in the International Affairs Budget, a department with programs which stimulate international trade for a number Pennsylvania companies, according to Oliver Franklin and Kenneth Wong’s Philadelphia Business Journal article, “Meeting Global Challenges of the 21st Century”.

Pennsylvania companies exported $22.27 billion in local goods to over 200 foreign markets in 2005. The Export-Import Bank, funded by the International Affairs Budget, provided $1.9billion in exports from the state over the past five years to the benefit of 202 companies. More than 17 percent of Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs are supported by the export of U.S. manufactured goods.

In addition to supporting manufacturing, the International Affairs Budget provides support for non-profit initiatives such as HIV/AIDS programs, emergency assistance, agriculture and business development and cultural exchange programs.

Cuts to the program have the potential to directly affect local workers and business.

Exports are crucial to expanding companies, particularly manufacturers. If the US is to support its manufacturing base, it needs to continue to invest in export programs to stimulate trade with other countries which is essential to helping companies build a stronger business.

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