Maritime Industry Will Continue To Advocate Status Quo In Food For Peace Program

“The Food for Peace Program (PL-480) has been in the forefront of Washington, D.C., maritime issues for the past six months and will most likely continue to be a main concern in the near future,” Captain Lee Kincaid, president of the American Maritime Congress (AMC), writes in a Maritime Executive opinion piece. He summarizes congressional discussion on the program, noting the Obama administration has proposed shifting some Food for Peace funding to be more flexible, allowing for local and regional food purchasing and the use of food vouchers, instead of requiring U.S. food be shipped on U.S. flag vessels. He notes the House’s rejection of an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have “accomplish[ed] the same changes to food aid as requested by the president,” and writes, “Be assured, the continuing struggle to maintain the U.S. Food for Peace Program and the U.S. flag cargo preference portion of the program is far from over.”

“Transparency, accountability and reliability are strong arguments for maintaining the U.S. commodity and cargo preference food aid program,” Kincaid writes, adding, “American farmer-grown crops in bags proudly displaying the U.S. flag and delivered on U.S. flag ships by U.S. mariner crews sends the message that America does care.” He concludes, “AMC continues to press forward to make the case and coordinate maritime industry efforts to keep our U.S. food aid program and all other cargo preference programs in place” (7/16).