Office of the Spokesperson
May 23, 2017
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) bolster U.S. national security, assert U.S. leadership and influence, and advance our economic interests across the globe. The combined budget request of $37.6 billion for Fiscal Year 2018 reflects the President’s commitment to a leaner, more efficient government, and ensures that every tax dollar spent is aligned with the Administration’s foreign policy objectives.
The budget request supports the President’s “America First” vision with a commitment to four key national priorities:
Defending U.S. National Security:
- Defeating ISIS and Other Terrorist Organizations: Supporting efforts to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations with $5.6 billion that will work to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, defeat emerging ISIS branches and affiliated terrorist networks, and enhance the stability of partners on the front lines. It will also support stabilization in areas where ISIS and other groups have been uprooted, and stop ISIS’s global reach in cyberspace.
- Supporting Key Allies: Bolstering key U.S. allies to defend our shared interests, including requesting robust support for Israel at $3.1 billion.
- Targeting Strategic Efforts in the Western Hemisphere: Providing $1.1 billion to shut down transnational criminal organizations and illicit pathways to U.S. borders, and reducing the flow of irregular migration and illicit goods that threaten U.S. safety and security. Importantly, U.S. assistance will address the underlying conditions for these threats including weak governance, insecurity, corruption, uneven economic growth, poverty, and human rights abuses.
- Combatting Transnational Crime and Trafficking Globally: Including support of $542.4 million to address the trafficking of narcotics, persons, contraband, and wildlife in priority countries and regions around the world in order to protect the safety of the United States and its citizens, and working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to implement the Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking.
- Enabling our Partner Nations to Address Shared Security Threats: Working closely with the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies, our $7.1 billion for security assistance activities will enable us to strengthen security partnerships and ensure that friends and allies are able to do their part to address common threats.
- Supporting Worldwide Security Protection: Providing $3.8 billion for worldwide security protection, which includes support for Diplomatic Security (DS) personnel who provide physical protection for our personnel and facilities overseas and also advise U.S. corporations operating internationally on the security environment to help promote further business development and trade through the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
- Enhancing the Department’s Cybersecurity: Investing $200 million to help counter ongoing malicious attempts to breach our systems.
Asserting U.S. Leadership and Influence:
- Funding Core Diplomacy Programs: Providing $820 million in public diplomacy resources and programming, continuing funding for the Department’s core Public Diplomacy personnel and programs at $535 million. Funding the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on global programs such as Fulbright and the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), preserving a nucleus of proven programs that have both the scope and flexibility to serve the U.S. national interest.
- Contributing the U.S. Fair Share: Remaining engaged with the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations while pressing for key reforms that promote transparency, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, and a more fair distribution of the funding burden. Significant savings can be found by improving peacekeeping missions and spending wisely on UN agencies, and encouraging other member states to increase their contributions.
- Improving Global Health: Providing $6.5 billion to prevent the spread of infectious disease threats as well as child and maternal deaths . This request includes $290 million to complete the $1.0 billion four-year U.S. pledge to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the immunization of hundreds of millions of children in low-resource countries and save millions of lives. The request also includes $5.0 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to focus U.S. support in key countries and to maintain all current patient levels on HIV/AIDS anti-retroviral treatment, and to expand HIV prevention and treatment services, where possible, through increased performance and efficiency gains. Within this total, $1.1 billion is for the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to remain on track to meet the U.S. 1:2 matching commitment.
- Providing Lifesaving Humanitarian Assistance: Providing $5.3 billion in humanitarian assistance to those most in need, and promoting stable conditions for displaced persons, refugees, and asylum seekers to return home, where possible. The request allows the United States to maintain U.S. leadership in shaping global humanitarian assistance while also asking the rest of the world to increase their share.
- Addressing the Root Causes of Global Security Threats and Instability: Devoting $5.0 billion to support a range of economic and development programs that will target the root causes of global security threats and instability, assert U.S. leadership by standing up to global injustices, protect basic freedoms, promote American values, and open markets and foster opportunities for U.S. businesses. While development is ultimately the responsibility of each sovereign country, promoting more stable and prosperous nations through foreign assistance makes Americans safer at home and abroad.
Fostering Opportunities for U.S. Economic Interests:
- Strengthening Economic and Security Imperatives: Supporting the fee-funded $4.4 billion Consular and Border Security program that facilitates legitimate travel to and from the United States, and directly supports our nation’s tourism industry.
- Ensuring a Level Playing Field for American Workers and Businesses: Providing dedicated assistance that fights corruption; promotes rule of law, transparency, and accountability initiatives; and strengthens market-oriented and governance institutions to enable economic reforms.
- Pursuing Partnerships: Benefiting American workers by supporting policies that promote fair and balanced trade relationships, improve supply chains and productivity, promote energy trade and security, open private sector markets, and leverage private sector partnerships.
Ensuring Effectiveness and Accountability to the U.S. Taxpayer:
- Enhancing our Overall Security Posture: Enabling construction of new secure facilities, consistent with the recommendations of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB), when combined with prior year resources not needed to meet our FY 2017 ARB commitment.
- Consolidating Accounts to Increase Effectiveness of Programming: Consolidating accounts with similar purposes into single accounts to increase effectiveness in programming, including requesting all food aid under the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, all emergency refugee and migration needs within the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account, and economic and development assistance within the Economic Support and Development Fund (ESDF) account.
- Improving the Department’s Management of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests and E-Mail archiving: Modernizing aging informational systems, and completely redesigning and deploying a new IT infrastructure to protect our critical systems from failure and compromise.
- Optimizing Foreign Military Assistance: Reducing costs for the U.S. taxpayer by making some funds available to support military assistance loans, potentially allowing recipients to purchase more American-made weaponry with U.S. assistance, but on a repayable basis.
- Eliminating Earmarked Appropriations: Eliminating direct funding for quasi- and non-governmental organizations that serve niche missions and may duplicate the efforts of other federal programs. Incentivizing these organizations to compete for federal funding, which will improve efficiency while minimizing the potential for duplication.
For more information, please follow @USForeignAssist on Twitter.