The Green Party supports democracy and self-determination worldwide and promotes the U.S. ending its practice of economic and political colonialism. U.S. foreign policy should emphasize promoting other nations' self-sufficiency and self-determination, rather than ensuring security for overseas American business interests and the retention of military bases.
International business practices have taken advantage of countries lax environmental and safety standards and a needy labor force that is easily exploited. Such practices are often in conflict with local efforts to establish work place democracy, and to address environmental and safety problems.
The continuing establishment of bases and stationing of service personnel overseas heightens global tensions and tends to make the U.S. military a global police force. Together with economic leveraging, such military presence assures that self-serving U.S. businesses will encounter little resistance.
U.S. foreign aid programs under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) have promoted U.S. development methods without adequately examining their feasibility, appropriateness or cultural implications for the host country. Aid is given in inordinately greater amounts to countries that are considered strategically important to the U.S.
Of the foreign aid that the United States distributes, the majority is provided as military aid. This military aid is generally split between training foreign military officers and providing U.S. weapons to foreign governments. Both are basically cash handouts to our military industry and do nothing to bolster a foreign country's economy or living standards. The U.S. government's tradition of lax oversight of such aid results in it being used to wreak havoc on the local populace. Foreign aid is also commonly used to prop-up U.S. multinational corporations by using aid money to buy goods from the these companies and then ship them to foreign countries. This is not only corporate welfare, but it also invites conflicts of interest in public policy as politicians are tempted to reward the companies that have supported their re-elections. It also creates a dependency of domestic corporations on foreign policy decisions. Most of all, it robs the recipient country of the opportunity to build up its own industry and become self-sufficient in meeting the needs being addressed by foreign aid.
The Greens believe in policies consistent with participatory democracy and global responsibility:
Insist that U.S. corporations maintain foreign business practices that don't jeopardize workers, damage their environment or interfere with their government.
Negotiate a General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) that promotes the economic development and self-sufficiency of recipient countries, rather than profitability for the G-8 countries. [see International Trade Agreements section above]
Reevaluate our government's aid practices (USAID, for example) by emphasizing appropriate-level technologies, ecologically sustainable infrastructures and business projects, cultural sensitivity and monetary aid consistent with countries' real needs.
Encourage U.S. cities to develop municipal foreign trade policies centering around local trade agreements, "sister city" arrangements and cultural exchange programs.
Support and endorse United Nations conventions. Putting aside "new world order" rhetoric, we believe that the U.N. should finally be utilized for its intended purpose: it should act as an objective, multilateral body to maintain world order. The U.S. could help attain this objective by paying its U.N. dues on time.
Close all foreign military bases as soon as possible and clean up any toxic wastes left behind. Fair and responsible business practices would eliminate the need for such bases.
Military foreign aid should be discontinued. Any monetary foreign aid distributions should be provided as cash payments to foreign governments, or reliable non-government agencies. Recipient countries should have more authority in deciding how the money is spent, rather than simply using it to purchase U.S. domestic goods. All foreign aid should be based on the improvement of democracy and general living standards and/or to reduce overall suffering in the recipient country.