Trump, GOP Consider Tying Foreign Aid to Natural Resources: Is It a Game-Changer?


The United States government pours billions of dollars of taxpayer money into nearly every corner of the world. It’s a valid complaint. Our problems are here, too, as our cities descend into chaos and our infrastructure deteriorates, while our national debt is well beyond the orbit of Saturn.

Sometimes, however, an idea is presented that leaves one wondering why it wasn’t thought of sooner. It is a good idea to make the foreign aid we give out a loan secured by the natural resources of the recipient nation.

Why not? This idea was floated in recent discussions on the Ukraine Aid Bill:

To salvage a package of aid for Ukraine, Republican Senators proposed an idea that they believed former President Donald Trump would like: instead of a grant, America would provide a loan to Ukraine that would in some way be backed by rare earth minerals from Ukraine worth trillions of dollar.

The GOP knew that they would need Trump’s help to make sure the former president wouldn’t use the influence he had in Congress to stop the aid package Ukraine needed to repel Russia’s invasion.

It’s not the worst idea to make it about the resources. Ukraine is home to about 10% of the world’s iron ore reserves. It also has large reserves of manganese and oil. This troubled nation also has other strategic resources, including graphite and potash.

Then there’s the Middle East with its oil and gas reverses and the billions we pour in that region.

It seems like a pretty good collateral. The former President Trump has reportedly been open to this idea.

The specific plan that Biden had in mind did not make it into the legislation signed by President Joe Biden last month. Ukraine was given a loan, not a grant, to meet Trump’s criteria. However, there was no mention that the minerals of Ukraine could be used as a possible repayment method.

Trump, according to GOP lawmakers who spoke with him, liked the idea. If he wins, they envision a new U.S. foreign aid model in which countries would be required to put up valuable assets or natural resources as collateral.

According to reports, several key Republicans supported the idea. These included Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

Why not? The Constitution does not say that foreign aid is charity. Why not become the mortgage broker for the world instead of Santa Claus? It is so absurd to think the United States would ask “Wait a minute, what do we receive in return” when nearly every nation on earth comes to them with their arms outstretched and waiting for American money to be given out.

Why not make America the first to have access to world resources, or at the very least to ensure that our clients pay us back with interest what we gave them?

This doesn’t mean that we will have a permit to enter, say, Ukraine and begin digging for titanium and uranium. These resources will be used to secure loans. Even as recently as the early 20th century, America insisted that other countries pay back loans they made during events such as World War I.

The United States might even make some progress in achieving a sustainable fiscal strategy. This assumes, of course, that we can rein back government spending.