Hagerty Delivers Opening Statement at Foreign Relations Committee Nominations Hearing

July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today served as Ranking Member at a hearing on diplomatic nominations before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and delivered the following opening remarks.

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Remarks as prepared for delivery

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the nominees for appearing before this Committee today and for their willingness to serve this great nation. We look forward to hearing from them today.  

I would like to start with the nomination to be the Chief of Protocol. This position has the unique responsibility of advancing American foreign policy goals by creating an environment conducive for successful diplomacy.

As a former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I recognize that protocol—which can be incredibly challenging with its own set of complex and intricate issues—is an essential component of successful foreign policy.  I look forward to hearing the nominee’s views on the position of Chief of Protocol.

Next, I would like to turn to the nomination to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. As authoritarian states such as China and Russia look to systemically curb freedom and democracy throughout the world, it is imperative for the United States to bolster people-to-people ties.  

We should look for opportunities to spread the values and ideals of the United States by facilitating various academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchange programs. I am interested to hear how the nominee intends to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives through educational and cultural programs.        

I would like to turn to the nomination to be the Deputy Administration for Policy and Programming at the U.S. Agency for International Development. We know that thoughtfully targeted and designed foreign assistance can help advance the national security, economic, and humanitarian interests of the United States.

This means ensuring that resources are properly aligned with the broader strategic objectives of the United States. I look forward to hearing from the nominee on this matter.

Now, I would like to turn to the nomination to be the Representative to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform. This is a position that requires keen judgment and even temperament.

As authoritarian states continue to look for ways to increase their influence at the United Nations, the United States will need to exercise its leverage—including administrative and budgetary matters—to protect the integrity of the United Nations. 

At the same time, the United States should look for support from allies and partners to shoulder the financial burden of funding the United Nations. 

As these discussions and negotiations over the administrative and budgetary aspects of the United Nations continue, it will be critical for the Representative of the United States to maintain a strong position to ensure that the United Nations is properly and efficiently managed.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.