Trump Issues Order to ‘Rebrand’ Foreign Aid

(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

(CN) — Seeking to “rebrand” America’s foreign assistance, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to mark all packaging of U.S. aid distributed to other countries with a single logo of his choosing. 

The White House says the move is intended to “foster goodwill between the recipients of United States foreign assistance and the American people, and to encourage the governments of nations that are receiving foreign assistance to support the United States.”

The order, which applies to 22 U.S. government agencies that render aid abroad, will require agencies to forgo their various individual logos and attach a new, standardized mark to foreign assistance related goods and packaging.

Trump gave himself 30 days to personally select a single logo that “embodies the values and generosity of the American people.”

The logo is to be “prominently displayed” on all materials related to U.S. foreign assistance programs, projects and activities.

That includes all goods, packaging, communications and public affairs materials related to foreign assistance.

Suggesting that the goal of this rebranding is to “advance American influence,” the White House said on Thursday that it’s “essential” for foreign recipients to be aware that the efforts of American taxpayers are behind the aid they receive.

“To further this awareness and to ensure United States foreign assistance supports the foreign policy objectives of the United States and maintains American influence and leadership, such assistance must appropriately and conspicuously be identified as American aid,” the order states.

The heads of the affected federal agencies will be allowed to waive the single-logo requirement if they believe the mark would “raise compelling political, safety, or security concerns” in a particular geographic area or attached to a certain type of aid.

John Barsa, Acting Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, commended the order in a statement on Thursday.

“By requiring U.S. Government Departments and Agencies to use a single logo for all U.S. foreign assistance, the President has taken an important step in promoting awareness about the compassion and generosity of the American people around the world,” he said.

According to the executive order, whatever design the president picks will need to be implemented by USAID and the Secretary of State within a 120-day window.

But Trump doesn’t have that much time left in office, meaning his successor could make changes before the rule is applied.

The implementation processes will stretch into President-elect Joe Biden’s term when he will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that his department looks forward to coordinating with USAID and other departments and agencies in order to implement the new logo rule.

“Consistent U.S. branding will also be an essential tool to counter strategic competitors seeking greater visibility and influence,” he said.

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