Diplomacy Is Key to U.S. Job Creation, Hillary Clinton Says

By MATTHEW LEE | July 12, 2011 | 11:19 AM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to address the Open Government Partnership high level meeting at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Congress not to slash the Obama administration's foreign policy budget, saying that American diplomacy abroad is critical to creating jobs and improving economic conditions at home.

In a speech to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition on Tuesday, Clinton said the administration's foreign affairs spending represents just 1 percent of the federal budget and is not what is driving massive deficits. She said cuts to foreign assistance and State Department operations will undermine efforts to develop markets for American businesses overseas and hurt diplomats' promotion of U.S. companies.

Clinton warned that retreating from the international arena would jeopardize America's standing as a global leader, a position she said had to be earned with commitments of time, energy and resources.