A Somerset businessman is in Washington, D.C. Monday and Tuesday of this week with a group of state and national leaders to encourage funding for American development and diplomacy overseas.
Somerset Recycling President Alan Keck is part of the Kentucky Advisory Committee at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Summit in the nation’s capital.
The group is urging the Trump administration to fully fund the U.S. Agency for International Development, an organization that supports humanitarian efforts and promotes American prosperity through investments that expand markets for U.S. exports. Keck said the Trump administration has proposed cutting 30 percent of the USAID budget.
Somerset Recycling is a private company and exports of plastic and paper make up about 5-to-10 percent of the business. Keck said his company exports to China, India, Israel and countries in South America, and the USAID funding strengthens global ties.
“It’s important for a couple of reasons, and I would say largest is our state’s economy. Specifically, to my business, I’m in the recycling business and the export market is key for recyclers all over the country and in Kentucky.”
He said food products are another example of a major export from Kentucky that complements USAID’s efforts to help bring stability to countries in crisis.
Keck he is encouraging the administration to fully fund US AID and be transparent about how the money is invested.
“As a business person and someone who considers myself a community servant, and hopefully a leader at some level, it’s important to me to be vested, to make sure that the dollars that we are sending abroad are used in a transparent and accountable way.”
Keck says USAID strengthens global ties, which has an impact on the demand for exports from Kentucky, including food products.