By Sung Lee
Secretary Clinton stressed that the President’s FY 13 Budget request focus on: 1) Sustaining the US national security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; 2) Building a strong relationship with the institutions in the Asia Pacific; 3) Demonstrating America’s commitments to support democratic movement in the Arab world; 4) Engaging in economic statecrafts - utilizing diplomacy and development to create American jobs; 5) Making strategic investments to help the overall US foreign policy goals. She said, “Our Feed the Future Initiative is helping millions of men, women, and children by driving agricultural growth and improving nutrition to hasten the day when countries no longer need food aid at all.” Her testimony is available here.
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
The Conservative Case for Foreign Aid, Opinion, John Kerry, Wall Street Journal, February 29
There's nothing fiscally conservative about starving our foreign policy budget of a billion dollars today only to spend a trillion dollars years later in armed conflict. Every day, the State Department leads operations that strengthen our security. At this time of budget crisis, a U.S. senator trying to defend foreign aid might well be advised to seek the counsel of a political consultant if not a mental health professional. But energetic global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries.
Obama to Sign Executive Order Creating Trade Enforcement Panel, Washington Post, February 28
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order creating a U.S. panel to investigate unfair trade practices by nations including China. The Interagency Trade Enforcement Center will bring together lawyers, researchers, analysts and agents to monitor and enforce trade agreements and laws, the White House said in an e-mailed statement. The panel’s director will be chosen by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, with a deputy selected by Commerce Secretary John Bryson and other staff coming from that agency.