The United Nations delivers more than just peace and security around the world. It’s also a fairly large employer and is responsible for a good deal of economic activity in New York City and throughout the country. Now, new research from our friends at the Better World Campaign puts a precise figure on one aspect of the UN’s value to the American economy: contracts to American businesses from the UN topped half a billion dollars last year.
These big contracts are a good example of the diversity of contracts. TRIGYN is an IT management company. Pacific Architects and Engineers is a logistics company, and Microsoft, of course, creates the software upon which much of the UN — and the world — operates.
The United Nations may or may not come up in tonight’s kick-off Republican debate. But some candidates are on the record opposing the very existence of the United Nations. From his perch in the Senate, for example, Rand Paul has consistently tried to de-fund the UN. On the campaign trail he’s fond of calling for the complete dissolution of the world body, consequences be damned. Other candidates, like Marco Rubio, want to sharply reduce US contributions to the UN.
But, there is at least one candidate in tonight’s forum who is well aware of the value of UN contracts to American business. Back in 2003, Trump’s new glimmering tower at 845 UN Plaza was the freshest building on the block. Smarting from this success, he threw his name in the ring for the big UN renovation project contract, lobbying Kofi Annan for the gig. “I have a lot of respect for the secretary general and know he’s going to do the right thing,” he was quoted as saying at the time.
Alas, the contract went to a rival, Skanksa USA, which completed the big project last year.