MEBA Calls for Food For Peace Funding

Press Release
Friday, February 22, 2013

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association calls for the protection of U.S. maritime and agricultural jobs.


The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) stands with 21 U.S. Senators and its United States maritime industry partners in protecting thousands of U.S. maritime and agricultural jobs by calling for continued funding of the Food for Peace (PL 480) and Food for Progress programs. These programs, administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development, create necessary cargo for the U.S.-Flag shipping industry through the delivery of vital overseas food assistance.


Recently, M.E.B.A. learned that the Obama Administration is considering major budgetary changes to these programs, switching them from in-kind food assistance to cash grants or purchasing food from allegedly cheaper foreign suppliers for Fiscal Year 2014.


M.E.B.A. opposes a restructuring of these programs because it would endanger the jobs of 44,000 American merchant mariners, farmers, shippers, processors, and port workers whose employment are reliant on food aid.


“The U.S. civilian mariners and U.S.-flag ships that carry this food aid are the same that delivered over 90 percent of the cargo to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This cargo maintains vital jobs in the maritime sector and helps sustain the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, allowing us to keep the skills needed to boost national security and to remain globally competitive in the shipping market,” said Mike Jewell, M.E.B.A. President. “Without these programs we will lose the skilled mariners and vital ships needed to support our military’s sealift capacity, and we will demolish our ability to remain viable in worldwide maritime shipping.”


Preference for national-flag ships to move national cargoes in international trade is a policy pursued by many maritime nations, and the U.S. is no different. Cargo preference laws and policies foster the economic national security priorities of the United States.


“When spending U.S. tax dollars on international food aid, the hard working American mariners and farmers should be used to the highest extent possible. It is the ‘Buy American’ version of foreign aid,” said Jewell.


Funding for The Food for Peace program has been reduced 35 percent since 2008, despite the growing need for food assistance in developing countries, the necessity of securing U.S. transportation jobs to remain globally competitive and nationally secure, and a trade surplus in the American agriculture sector that led to $108 billion of farm goods exports in 2010.


M.E.B.A. has already reached out to pro maritime legislators to seek help in keeping these vital programs funded and will continue to do so. This week, twenty-one U.S. Senators sent a letter to the White House requesting the President to reconsider his approach and maintain funding for the current programs. As the letter states, “this program has been instrumental in linking rural America and the U.S. agriculture and transportation industries to communities in the developing world while building greater awareness and support at home for the needs of the poor, hungry and disenfranchised around the world.”


M.E.B.A. will continue to work with pro maritime and pro food aid lawmakers and other leaders in the maritime and agriculture sectors to secure funding for Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs, and to protect the U.S. jobs.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

MSHS Group President Recognized for Safety Leadership

Signal Mutual Indemnity Association, a self-insured group provider of Longshore benefits, presented MSHS President Are Friesecke with the Francis R. Sharp Executive

Apply Now for the MN 100

The August 2016 edition of MarineNews, the leading voice in the North American workboat market, will feature 100 leaders and innovators, including workboat owners and operators,

Mothballed Vessels SE Asia Reflect Oil Slump Pain

Around 1,300 offshore support vessels lying idle worldwide. Not everyone in shipping is bemoaning the industry's worst crisis in living memory: a cluster of

Bulk Carrier Trends

BIMCO President Speaks on Dry Bulk's Road to Recovery

“Scrapping ships and no new builds is the fastest road to recovery for the dry bulk market” BIMCO President Philippe Louis-Dreyfus comments on BIMCO’s latest market

Baltic Index Up On Higher Capesize Demand

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Tuesday helped by an increase in demand for capesize vessels.

Freighter Runs Aground in Lake Superior

The U.S. Coast Guard informs it is continuing to monitor and respond to the 833-foot U.S. cargo vessel Roger Blough, which ran aground Friday afternoon on Gros

News

Coast Guard to Remove Some Navigation Aids in Virginia

The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to discontinue 166 navigational aids within the Virginia Inside Passage (VIP) due to shoaling and other navigational safety concerns throughout the area.

MSHS Group President Recognized for Safety Leadership

Signal Mutual Indemnity Association, a self-insured group provider of Longshore benefits, presented MSHS President Are Friesecke with the Francis R. Sharp Executive

New OPDR Service Links Spain with Northern Europe

OPDR introduces new service: CAVA offers connection between the Spanish east coast, northern Europe and Saint Petersburg    OPDR announced its new CAVA service,

Government Update

EU Ships in Libyan Waters Would Undermine Tripoli Govt

The U.N.-backed government in Libya has not invited European ships into its territorial waters to help stop people smuggling because this could harm efforts to

Striking Port Workers Protest Greek Port Sales

Greek port workers walked off the job for a sixth day on Tuesday and marched through central Athens to protest the state-sanctioned selloff of the country's two largest ports,

Bulgaria, Greece to Consider Greek LNG terminal

Bulgarian state energy holding company BEH and Greek natural gas company Gastrade have set up a joint task force to prepare a proposal to build an off-shore liquefied

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1808 sec (6 req/sec)