U.S. already $1.3 trillion in debt to top economic, military competitor
The Obama administration now has ambitions to expand the number of aid programs to China and is working on deploying a privately contracted overseer to “manage and grow” this development portfolio, WND has discovered.
Obama intends to accomplish that task through the U.S. Trade & Development Agency, or USTDA, which technically is an “independent” White House agency – one that has spent millions on projects in China under both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations.
Those projects have included, among numerous other industry sector-specific programs, 50 climate-change and environmental initiatives since 2001, according to USTDA estimates.
The agency this year began searching for a candidate from the private sector to fill its Beijing-based “program manager” slot. The newly created position includes East Asia-wide responsibilities but has a largely China-centric focus.
Indeed, according to a Personal Services Contractor, or PSC, notice that WND discovered via routine database research, the manager will be tasked with providing “on-the-ground support” to numerous USTDA-initiated U.S.-China cooperation programs.
Those endeavors include the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program, the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program, the U.S.-China Health Cooperation Program, “as well as the newly-formed U.S.-China Agriculture Cooperation Program,” the PSC document says.
More freedom, ‘not more government’
Aid to China fulfills USTDA’s mission to simultaneously help “developing nations” and assist U.S. exporters, the agency claims. One trade-policy scholar told WND that while he agrees that China meets that USTDA designation, he rejects the notion that the federal programs and spending overseas are the best ways to boost U.S. trade interests.
“China is still a developing country. The best way to boost exports is to adopt broad-based reforms that make it easier for U.S. companies to compete,” said Bryan Riley, a senior policy analyst from the Heritage Foundation’s Center for International Trade and Economics.
He recommended that the U.S. government pursue specific reforms such as cutting the corporate income tax rate and reducing deficit spending as a means of sparking investment and strengthening the U.S. economy.
“If we want more good jobs in the United States, we need more economic freedom, not more government programs,” Riley continued.
While USTDA arguably is a relatively small agency – its FY 2015 budget request is just under $68 million – it consistently undergoes criticism along with calls for closure. Former Rep. Ron Paul and free-market think tanks such as the Cato Institute regularly denounce it as among the most duplicative and wasteful of all federal entities.
USTDA, Ex-Im Bank and OPIC consequently are among the most egregious examples of “corporate welfare waste,” the Cato Institute concluded in a 2005 report. These and similar organizations “should be terminated,” contends the report’s author, Chris Edwards.
However, the U.S. Department of State – as it has done every year under the past few administrations, under both Republican and Democrat leadership – claims USTDA investments pay tremendous dividends, with the equivalent of $73 in exports resulting from every dollar of agency assistance.
“The FY 2015 request for [USTDA] of $67.7 million will enable the Agency to continue its mission to help U.S. companies create jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies,” State said in its budget justification. “In carrying out its mission, USTDA places particular emphasis on activities where there is a high likelihood for the export of U.S. goods and services during project implementation.”