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Little known shipping subsidy and other weekend links

01 Aug

Little known shipping subsidy

Little has been written about the costs and effects of a policy called the Agricultural Cargo Preference (ACP), which affects the shipping sector of the “iron triangle”, and USAID, the world’s largest food aid programme.

The ACP requires that 75 percent of US food aid be shipped on privately owned, US registered vessels, even if they do not offer the most competitive rates. Some of these costs are reimbursed by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, but ultimately the US taxpayer foots the entire bill.

The Cornell researchers used data available for every USAID food aid shipment in 2006, when ACP cost US taxpayers $140 million, “The amount paid above the regular cost of ocean freight on the competitive market,” said Barrett.

Via: GLOBAL: Millions wasted on shipping food aid

Safari leads couple to provide bicycles for kids in Tanzania

In which a well meaning couple hopes to give some relief to the women porters by donating bicycles .

This is followed by a question of is this a they know not what they do situation or not, at AID WATCH: Why African women and girls are still manual porters.

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1 Comment

Posted by on August 1, 2010 in links, News and Info

 

One response to “Little known shipping subsidy and other weekend links

  1. C. James Patti

    August 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    The article referenced in this post by IRIN includes several sweeping statements about food aid and cargo preference with little factual evidence or context. Cargo preference is an important and successful program – not unique to the United States. Its purpose is to maintain a viable U.S. flag commercial fleet manned by highly skilled U.S. mariners, providing a reliable and cost-effective sealift capacity in times of war or national emergency. According to the Government Accountability Office, if Cargo Preference were to be eliminated, the number of U.S. merchant mariners would shrink by 75 percent. The annual cost to taxpayers is a small price to pay for securing a U.S. flagged maritime fleet.

    When it comes to transporting food aid, all vessels are limited to what the Maritime Administration considers to be “fair and reasonable rates.” Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the cost of shipping food aid alone on U.S. vessels provides $2 billion in economic output for the U.S. and $523 million in earnings for American households. In today’s era of budget deficits and high unemployment, there are not many government programs that can make that claim for so little cost – and so much benefit to our national security.

     

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