Why it matters: Strong relationships with our partners around the world are vital to confronting the security and economic challenges of the 21st century. Maintaining an open global dialogue helps grow our economy, advance our goals and shape policies to protect our interests—and those of our allies—abroad. A proactive foreign policy agenda has helped, among other things, reduce the trafficking of arms, narcotics and children; liberate people from religious persecution; nourish those suffering from food insecurity and assist in ending global health epidemics.
Where I stand: U.S. leadership on the world stage remains crucial to peaceful conflict resolution. In that sense, it is an essential component of our overall security strategy. At the same time, it is important to our economic growth as better relationships make for better trading partners.
The U.S. can make a difference by promoting humanitarian relief programs that channel the dedication and compassion of doers. In doing so, we can save lives and build goodwill for the U.S. around the globe. The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—two successful programs established by President George W. Bush in the early 2000’s—are perfect examples of this idea. Taking steps as simple as providing mosquito nets, clean water and medical treatments saved countless lives and prevented global health crises from spreading across sub-Saharan Africa. Programs like these deserve the commitment necessary to succeed.
Similarly, fair trade deals, when properly negotiated, should be given a chance to succeed. The benefits from fair trade deals go far beyond just helping our economy by allowing U.S. manufacturers, agricultural producers and small businesses to compete in today’s global marketplace. Fair trade agreements also help keep Americans safe. Properly negotiated agreements allow us to not only trade goods, but ideas with nations that may not always share our ideals. In doing so, we can remain competitive and create jobs at home, while pushing for human rights and democratic change.
What I've done: I've promoted U.S. coordination of relief with non-governmental organizations and our international partners like the World Food Program and the World Health Organization. Aid that has proven effective channels the dedication and compassion of doers, not takers. We should continue to promote effective programs that save lives and build goodwill for the U.S. around the globe.
Senator Boozman's Foreign Policy Accomplishments
Boozman has worked to hold China accountable for its unfair trade practices, human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang province against ethnic and religious minorities, and the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedom.
The senator serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission. He is a member of the Congressional Study Group on Europe, a bipartisan organization dedicated to frank and candid dialogue between American lawmakers and their peers in European capitals and Brussels, and is a leader of the Senate Delegation to the British-American Interparliamentary Group. He co-chairs the Congressional French Caucus, where he helps promote the enduring American-French relationship which continues to support job creation in Arkansas – French-owned businesses have created 6,300 well-paying jobs in the Natural State.
As a founder of the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Boozman has worked with governmental, faith-based and private organizations to facilitate partnerships and reach populations impacted by tropical diseases including malaria. In this role, he has successfully advocated for increased funding for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programs. USAID has been a reliable partner in identifying the needs of communities abroad.
Boozman championed legislation to tap into the proven abilities of USAID in order to help eliminate global gender-related barriers and empower female entrepreneurs around the world. He authored the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act that aims to help over one billion women who are left out of the formal financial system and to close the nearly $300 billion credit gap that exists for women-owned small and medium-sized businesses. The legislation was signed into law in 2019.
As a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, Boozman has advocated for initiatives and policies to combat hunger nationwide and across the world including the Global Food Security Act of 2016 and the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2017. These legislative packages help provide the resources and tools necessary for programs to effectively fight food insecurity worldwide.
He led efforts to pass the Global Child Thrive Act that reauthorizes international early childhood development assistance programs to orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries. This program has been valuable to helping empower children to overcome adversity as well as foster stability around the world. The bill was included in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act which became law in 2021.