Government says no need for alarm - with US cuts to foreign aid

Despite mounting concerns that Jamaica will be impacted by plans outlined by the Donald Trump administration to cut foreign aid, the  Government says there is no need for alarm at this time. 

The US Government has released a budget plan that proposes sharp cuts to various agencies and departments as well as increased spending on the military. 

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of  Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr. Horace Chang, told RJR News that the Andrew Holness administration is not worried.

"I don't see a major shift away from Jamaica; in fact some areas may even be beneficial," he suggested.

He admitted, however, that this view was being expressed without the benefit of proper analysis, up to now.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will of course have to spend the time to examine that (changing policy towards Jamaica) and discuss that with the relevant individuals," he said, noting that "it would appear that the Trump administrationis moving away from multi-lareral to bilateral programmes.

Meanwhile, Trump's first budget outline is being resisted by his fellow Republicans in Congress as many balked at proposed deep cuts to diplomatic and foreign aid programs. 

It also takes steps to downsize government. 

The US President’s priorities for the next four years proved too savage for many Republicans' taste, foreshadowing an intense battle between Congress and the White House over spending in coming months. 

Although Republicans control the Senate and House of  Representatives, Congress holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents' budget plans. 

The Trump administration asked Congress for a 28 per cent, or US$10.9 billion  cut in State Department funding and other international programmes to help pay for a $54 billion hike in military spending next year.


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