Thursday, March 20, 2014

Foreign Service : Benefits at Home!

Clay Moore here, the current American intern with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Vilnius.

Since I only have another month here in Vilnius, I thought that I should make a post about how the State Department both stimulates the economy and assists U.S. citizens domestically.  Since I am from Texas, I will focus on the benefits of the State Department in my state.

  • The State Department has facilitated trade agreements which have greatly benefitted Texas workers.  In Texas, international trade supports over 2.9 million jobs with customers in 223 countries and territories buying Texan products.  Over $262.3 billion in goods exports (2012), and $50 billion in service exports were the results of these agreements.
  • Flights between Dallas and China made an estimated financial impact of $205 million dollars to the Texan economy.  This was made possible by an Open Skies agreement negotiated by Department of State.
  • There are three Consular Affairs Bureaus in Texas to assist citizens with both obtaining and renewing their passports.
  • Texas is a world leader in hosting foreign professionals and scholars.  Over 11,106 physicians, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs as well as others have been hosted as part of Department of State work and study-based international exchange visitor programs.
  • SelectUSA is incredibly active in Texas, recently facilitating a $34 million investment from Indian company, Jyoti Industries, which created 157 jobs.
  • The State Department awarded a $2 million dollar grant to the University of Texas to establish two university partnerships in Pakistan both in the social sciences and music fields for three years.
  • The University of North Texas (my alma mater!) received $1 million dollars from the State Department to create a partnership in Pakistan focused on Linguistics, English Literature, and English Teaching.
  • The State Department facilitated 616 overseas adoptions for Texan families in 2012.
See more interesting facts here at the Department of State by State website.

These are just a selection of examples of the benefits to Texan citizens and businesses that the State Department provides.  These benefits are mirrored in each state across the country, thanks to the 1% of the federal budget that is allocated to the State Department.