U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strikes an upbeat tone in Tokyo, following Donald Trump's proposal to slash more than a quarter of his agency's budget.
(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday (March 16) the State Department's current spending was "not sustainable," and he willingly accepted the "challenge" President Donald Trump had given in proposing to cut more than a quarter of his agency's budget. Trump's budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 would cut 28 percent of the budget for U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, according to documents provided by the White House. The combined budget for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would be $25.6 billion. Speaking in Tokyo at the start of a trip to Asia focused on the threat from North Korea, Tillerson defended the cuts as a necessary correction to a "historically high" budget that had grown to address conflicts abroad in which the United States was engaged, as well as disaster aid. The United States will also reduce spending by attracting funds from other countries and "other sources" to contribute to development aid and disaster assistance, Tillerson said.