Jul 21, 2021
Press Release

This week, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks reintroduced the bipartisan City and State Diplomacy Act, which will support state and local diplomacy with counterparts abroad.

“I’m grateful for South Carolina’s leadership in international engagement. American cities and states are increasingly engaging in robust diplomacy with international partners and stakeholders. It’s time that the State Department formally recognizes subnational diplomacy and works to strengthen productive international friendship and cooperation on the city and state level in pursuit of mutual interests,” Rep. Wilson said. “This will not only strengthen the positive and productive relationships our cities and states develop but also serve to reinforce our friendships and potentially temper enmities. I am thankful to join Congressman Ted Lieu for his hard work on this legislation and his leadership on this important issue.”

“As the Member representing New York’s 5th Congressional district – one of the nation’s most diverse districts and home to JFK airport, America’s hub to the world - I have seen firsthand the value of international engagement on the subnational level,” Chairman Meeks said. The world has grown smaller and more interconnected than ever before. By improving engagement between our cities and foreign nations, and coordination with the State Department on such engagement, we can bolster our cultural and economic ties and cooperation, share best practices, and broaden our nation’s diplomatic reach.  I commend my colleague Rep. Lieu for sponsoring this innovative legislation.”

“The federal government should be doing everything it can to support and encourage local efforts to engage in diplomatic relationships abroad. Subnational diplomacy is an asset for American foreign policy because it enables us to share different facets of American life with our allies around the world,” Rep. Lieu said.  Through this bill, we can leverage the State Department’s expertise and federal resources to support city and state leaders interested in engaging with foreign counterparts. City and state leaders look abroad for resources, knowledge-sharing and economic support, and the State Department can empower these leaders to work strategically and in coordination with U.S. foreign policy goals. I’m pleased to partner with Rep. Wilson and Chairman Meeks on this bill and I look forward to seeing it move through the legislative process.”