The Trump administration has proposed a series of cuts to the State Department’s budget. (AP)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has survived his first year in Washington, but the Department of State remains at war — with itself. The recent budget deal has blown a multibillion-dollar hole in funding for current operations, and the new White House budget proposal would cut 2019 funding by 23 percent. In the face of fierce internal opposition, Tillerson insists that a smaller State Department will “deliver the greatest value and opportunity of success for the American people.”
There are big problems with this approach — particularly in light of President Trump’s hard line on foreign trade. U.S. diplomats point out the cuts have a serious effect on longstanding efforts to promote conflict resolution, environmental protection and human rights. But the State Department also works on a broad range of economic issues. So how will Tillerson’s plan affect a top Trump priority — the promotion of U.S. businesses?
We can now measure economic diplomacy
Long ago, another Republican president, Calvin Coolidge, famously said that “the chief business of the American people is business.” Now that government archives come in the form of millions …read more
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