Politico Examines Implications Of Senate's Draft Farm Bill On Maritime Industry, Food Aid

Politico examines the implications of the Senate’s draft farm bill on the maritime industry, noting the industry “makes much of its money on foreign-aid shipments, courtesy of the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development,” and writing, “The Senate’s farm bill extends [Food for Peace, the largest international food-aid program] for the next five years but pulls $40 million a year from shipments to go toward cash grants and the purchase of food in local markets.” The news service adds, “The success of the industry lies in the continued authorization of these programs with the farm bill looming before the Senate this week.”

“These ships haul more than two million tons of food aid a year everywhere from Burkina Faso to East Timor,” Politico writes, noting, “A report prepared in 2010 for USA Maritime estimated that transporting foreign assistance goods to American ports and then abroad affected more than 13,000 jobs and created almost $2 billion in output for U.S. industries.” The news service notes, “Shippers worry even more about the House’s response, especially since members have called for the virtual elimination of Food for Peace,” and writes, “‘Food aid to foreign nations in need is an important point of pride for U.S. producers and a meaningful form of assistance to famine-stricken people around the world,’ Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), who sits on the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee, told Politico in an email” (Meyers, 6/5).