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 September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

World’s 1st LNG Hybrid Barge Christened "Hummel"

The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name "Hummel" on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg.

Shadrin is D.G. of Gazprom Investholding

On October 13 the Gazprom leadership acceded to Alisher Usmanov's request for releasing him from his position as Director General of Gazprom Investholding. At the meeting Alexey Miller,

A2SEA Signs for Dudgeon

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited has awarded the Charter for WTG transport and installation to A2SEA A/S. A2SEA shall provide the jack-up vessel Sea Installer

Bulk Carrier Trends

Vancouver Welcomes Bulker on Her Maiden Voyage

The Port of Vancouver USA welcomed the M/V Jobst Oldendorff, commanded by Capt. Baisie of Ghana, on her maiden voyage October 16. Capt. Baisie and his 21-member

Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Fall on Cargo Woes

Rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are again likely to fall as the volume of tonnage limits any price gains from an increase in chartering activity, brokers said.

Wärtsilä Bags Wagenborg's Maintenance Contract

Wärtsilä and Wagenborg Shipping B.V. have signed in June 2014 a six-year Maintenance Agreement for fifteen of Wagenborg's dry cargo carriers. Under the agreement

News

Saudi Oil Pipeline Set Alight

A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

Long Beach Port Adds ‘Free Time’ for Cargo to Ease Congestion

The Port of Long Beach will add an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge, in order to grant some

Government Update

Shadrin is D.G. of Gazprom Investholding

On October 13 the Gazprom leadership acceded to Alisher Usmanov's request for releasing him from his position as Director General of Gazprom Investholding. At the meeting Alexey Miller,

ITIC Measures against Ebola

The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued the following general advice related to the outbreak of Ebola. Vessels that have recently

Venezuela's PDVSA Puts Six Tankers Up for Sale

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA said on Friday it is selling four crude tankers and two liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tankers that are currently inactive, amid a broader plan to modernize its fleet.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1634 sec (6 req/sec)