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 Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Two Newbuilds Delivered to Star Bulk

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. took delivery on February 27 of M/V Honey Badger (ex HN NE 164) and M/V Wolverine (ex HN NE 165), two 61,000 dwt Ultramax bulk carriers

Brazil Truck Strike Diminishes

Some truck drivers in Brazil continued blocking roads on Tuesday, slowing grains deliveries to southern ports, even as adherence to the strike diminished and a

New Research Group to Spur Maritime Transport

A new research initiative, entitled Vessels for the Future, was launched with the aim of improve shipping’s safety record, sustainability and global competitiveness.

Bulk Carrier Trends

Two Newbuilds Delivered to Star Bulk

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. took delivery on February 27 of M/V Honey Badger (ex HN NE 164) and M/V Wolverine (ex HN NE 165), two 61,000 dwt Ultramax bulk carriers

Faster Rotterdam-St Petersburg Link

The Rotterdam (Netherlands)-based neutral consolidator FPS Famous Pacific Shipping has launched a new, weekly ocean LCL service from Rotterdam to St Petersburg

25,000-TEU Ships Possible, Not Practical

Maersk Line CEO Soren Skou said ships with capacities of 25,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units are possible but not practical today, and that he expects 18,000-19,

News

Hospital Ship Brought up to Speed with AMOS

SpecTec will work with long term partner Mercy Ships to migrate its current system Business Suite to AMOS Enterprise Management Suite (EMS).   Mercy Ships’ Africa Mercy,

Two Newbuilds Delivered to Star Bulk

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. took delivery on February 27 of M/V Honey Badger (ex HN NE 164) and M/V Wolverine (ex HN NE 165), two 61,000 dwt Ultramax bulk carriers

Repair Yard Chosen for Lysblink Seaways

Cargo ship Lysblink Seaways will be towed to Inchgreen, Greenock for repair work after grounding last month on Scotland’s west coast.   The vessel, which ran aground February 18,

Government Update

Hike in Service Tax at Indian Ports

The Indian Ministry of Finance has advised an increase in service tax and applicable at all ports. The effective date has not yet been announced. The rate

Manila Port Congestion Eased: Palace

Malacañang has declared that the congestion at the Port of Manila has been resolved, noting the various measures that the government and the private sector have implemented to address the problem.

Canadian Navy Delays Opening of Arctic Facility

Canada's military has again delayed the opening of a major new Arctic port, a sign the government is struggling to assert sovereignty over a remote resource-rich region.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.5157 sec (2 req/sec)