President Trump requested $37.6 billion for the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) budget in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The combined budget request for FY 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.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said in a press statement, "This budget is responsive to the realities of the world in the 21st century, and ensures that the State Department and USAID can quickly adapt to an ever-changing international environment. Activities and programs supported in this budget will support our effort to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations and combat illegal migration and trafficking. This budget will also support our efforts to combat corruption and address threats to good governance, which helps level the playing field for American workers and businesses."
The budget request supports the President’s “America First” vision with a commitment to four key national priorities:
1. Defending U.S. National Security: The U.S. government is supporting efforts to counterterrorism through $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. The U.S. goverment will fund efforts to shut down transnational criminal organizations and illicit pathways to U.S. borders, as well as 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.
Working closely with the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies, our funding 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. We will also provide funds for worldwide security protection, which includes support for Diplomatic Security personnel who provide physical protection for our personnel and facilities overseas; advising U.S. corporations operating internationally on the security environment to help promote further business development and trade; and enhancing the Department’s cybersecurity.
2 . Asserting U.S. Leadership and Influence: The FY 2018 budget will continue to fund core diplomacy programs, providing $820 million in public diplomacy resources and programming and continuing funding for the Department’s core Public Diplomacy personnel and programs at $535 million. Through this budget the United States will remain engaged with the United Nations and other international organizations while pressing for key reforms that promote transparency, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, and a more fair distribution of the funding burden. The budget will provide $6.5 billion to prevent the spread of infectious disease threats as well as child and maternal deaths while 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 budget also supports 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.
3. Fostering Opportunities for U.S. Economic Interests: The State and USAID budget will strengthen economic and security imperatives by 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. It will also provide dedicated assistance that fights corruption; promotes rule of law, transparency, and accountability initiatives; and strengthens market-oriented and governance institutions to enable economic reforms. Lastly, it will benefit 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.
4. Ensuring Effectiveness and Accountability to the U.S. Taxpayer: The State Department and USAID budget will enhance our overall security posture by enabling construction of new secure facilities, consistent with the recommendations of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB). We will also consolidate accounts to increase effectiveness of programming, improve the Department’s management of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and e-mail archiving, optimize foreign military assistance, and eliminate earmarked appropriations.
As Secretary Tillerson explained, "The FY 2018 budget supports the President's commitment to make the U.S. government leaner and more accountable to the American taxpayer, while maximizing our diplomatic and engagement efforts, including with our international partners. As we advance the President's foreign policy priorities, this budget will also help lay the foundation for a new era of global stability and American prosperity."
For more information:
- Press Statement: Secretary Tillerson on Department of State and USAID FY 2018 Budget Request
- Fact Sheet: Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development: FY 2018 Budget Request
- On-the-Record-Briefing: The President's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of State and USAID