INDIANAPOLIS — As Congress debates how the U.S. will respond to the Israel-Hamas War, Indiana Senator Todd Young and several other Hoosier leaders furthered the conversation in downtown Indianapolis Monday.

Addressing members of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Sen. Young touched on Indiana’s relationship to several world crises, including the wars in both Israel and Ukraine. He also emphasized the need to formalize and boost existing commercial relationships through trade agreements.

”Trade is what is most-needed,” Sen. Young said.

As fears the Israel-Hamas War could expand into a regional conflict loom, the senator urged the coalition of military, business, and political leaders to consider increases to soft versus hard power initiatives.

”If we can eliminate extremism upstream, it costs us a lot less than downstream,” Sen. Young said.

According to the coalition, Indiana generated more than $41 billion in global exports in 2021, and nearly 750,000 in-state jobs supported by international trade.

”It’s very important that we continue to see that and develop those relationships that affect the Hoosier State,” State Rep. Mike Andrade said.

”I would like to, I think, increase those relationships in regards to those technologies that are dominated by some of our adversaries,” State Rep. Craig Haggard said.

Sen. Young said Indiana’s recent tech hub designation as a subset of the largest CHIPS and Science Act will play a major role as Indiana develops another competency to assist war-fighters abroad. Purdue University’s President Ming Chiang echoed that statement, and called microelectronics foundational to economic and national security.

”Technology must advance freedom, and that’s a mission more sacred and urgent today than perhaps ever before in our lifetime,” Chiang said.

Indiana is the only state in the U.S. to have won three federal bids for hydrogen, biotech, and semiconductor tech hubs. This comes as both Sen. Young and Senator Mike Braun signed a letter with nine other GOP senators to President Biden demanding a senior-level update on national security by Nov. 8.