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U.S. $26 Billion Short of “Fair Share” for Development Aid Yet Trump Proposing Big Cuts


To justify his proposed cuts to development and humanitarian aid, President Trump has implied that the United States now contributes more than its “fair share” of foreign aid. Yet the United States already falls far short of meeting the most commonly used fair-share standard, CBPP Senior Fellow Isaac Shapiro and the Center for Global Development’s Director of the US Development Policy Initiative, Scott Morris, document in a new analysis.

Here’s the opening:

The Trump administration’s March budget proposal contained dramatic cuts to foreign aid programs, defending these reductions by implying that the United States is paying more than its fair share” of such aid. The underlying facts contradict this assertion.

The United States currently contributes just 0.18 percent of its economy to developmental aid, compared to an overall average of 0.32 percent among the 29 countries examined by the OECD. This means the U.S. already pays $26 billion a year less than its fair share of development aid, as the term is commonly understood, than other developed nations.

Rather than closing at least some of this fair share gap, which is nearly unprecedented in magnitude, the initial Trump budget proposal, as well as the likely full budget the administration is expected to release May 23, would widen it considerably, to the largest gap on record. The United States would become the most deficient ever when it comes to providing its fair share of foreign aid. [emphasis added]