Yesterday I noted the GOP presidential candidates did not seem to understand what U.S. foreign aid was all about.
One candidate — at the time I forgot who — said that instead of borrowing money from China and then providing aid to other countries, the U.S. should just tell the Chinese to send the money directly to those countries.
As I noted yesterday:
If that candidate who said “let the Chinese to do it” has his way, then he would be also handing over the developing world markets to Chinese businesses instead of American firms.
Thanks to one blogger who pays attention to such things — Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy — the Romney quote got prominent play but not deeper analysis. (Romney: Let’s let the Chinese feed the world’s hungry)
To be clear: U.S. foreign aid is more an investment in future democratic partners, markets and customers than just something we do because we are soft-hearted.
American foreign aid is designed to help the developing world build stronger economies, democratic institutions and secure civil societies. There are real and substantial benefits to American policy and businesses. And it is through American assistance programs that these benefits are realized.
If the candidates who want to cut foreign aid and let “the Chinese to do it” have their way, then the U.S. would be cut out of the picture in the formation of the future of the world. Countries receiving massive amounts of aid from China would be more likely to pattern their political structures after that of Beijing. Chinese businesses — not American — would have an edge in the new and growing markets.
And U.S. political and economic interests will be cut out of the fastest growing sectors in the world.
Yep. that is a real sound policy.