International Governmental Affairs Director Bill Lane stresses need for investment in international programs
Caterpillar Global Government Affairs Director Bill Lane testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development last month to highlight the U.S. business community's need for international development and the importance of private sector investments and public-private partnerships.
As co-president of the 400 member U.S. Global Leadership Council (USGLC), Lane also addressed why the diplomacy and development programs funded in the International Affairs Budget are vitally important for America's economic future, national security, and global influence.
"In a ferociously competitive international business climate, the U.S. government's International Affairs Budget is one of the most cost-effective instruments to provide a vital link between America's businesses and workers and some of the fastest-growing overseas markets," said Lane. "At Caterpillar we believe that the road to development often begins with a road."
Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget open new markets for American goods and services, and support American small businesses as they work to export their products. Overseas markets represent 95 percent of the world's consumers, 92 percent of its economic growth, and 80 percent of the world's purchasing power.
A highlight of the hearing was a thoughtful discussion between Senator Kaine of Virginia and Bill Lane about the success of Plan Colombia which helped transform a country that was on the verge of being a narco-terrorist state into a thriving democracy with a vibrant economy. Smart power sustained by bipartisan support -- President Clinton and Speaker Hastert championed the effort - was the key to Plan Colombia's success.
Caterpillar is a proud member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a network of 400 businesses, national security and foreign policy experts, academic and community leaders across the nation who support international development and diplomacy. Additional information on how the International Affairs Budget is a strategic investment for U.S. jobs is available here.