Debated Food Aid Reform Act Defeated

By MarEx 2013-06-20 16:47:00

The U.S. House of Representatives has rejected the proposed amendment to the current food aid policy to source food in local markets rather than buy and ship aid from the United States.

The food aid reform act, introduced by Ed Royce, the House foreign affairs committee chairman, and Karen Bass, on the House Africa sub-committee, would have eliminated previous requirements that food aid be grown in the U.S. and transported on US-flagged ships.

When Obama dropped the share of US food aid that must be transported on US ships from 75% to 50% last year, various shipping firms and labor unions protested.

Food for Peace has been an important charitable program since 1954, and has fed over 3 billion of the world’s starving people. The defeat of the Royce Amendment will maintain PL-480’s transparency due to domestic involvement by farmers, truckers, barge companies, warehouses and U.S.-flagged ships.

203 votes were in favor of the amendment, while 220 were against it.

Here are statements from maritime organizations expressing opposition to the FAARM Bill amendment:

Oppose the Royce-Engel Amendment to the Farm Bill

Statement of USA Maritime on Royce/Engel Amendment No. 55 to H.R. 1947 Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013

Navy League Response to June 12 Food Aid Modernization Hearing


For more on this controversial topic, read:

Vanishing Point for U.S. Maritime 

The Politics of Hunger

American Winter: Obama Turns His Back on Mariners and Farmers

AMO to N.Y. Times: PL-480 Food Aid Export Program Stands on Strong Merit

Listen to Tony Munoz Discuss PL-480 Food For Peace With Fr. Sinclair Oubre on Radio Maria