Economic Development

The following is a selection from an article by Prof. Christopher Barrett in the Washington Post 

Chris Barrett: When ‘Buy American’ harms America and the world’s hungry

December 3, 2010

Economic Development

The following is a selection from an article by Prof. Christopher Barrett in the Washington Post:

Chris Barrett Chris Barrett, CCSF Associate Director - Economic Development

Piracy is not the only robbery on the high seas. A 56-year-old policy known as cargo preference is costing U.S. taxpayers an estimated $140 million each year for humanitarian food shipments and is affecting millions of aid recipients worldwide. It is time to update this well-intentioned but ineffective policy.

Cargo preference was launched in 1954 alongside modern American food aid programs. By requiring the U.S. government to ship three-quarters of its international food aid on U.S. flag vessels, the policy was intended to maintain essential sealift capacity in wartime, safeguard maritime jobs for American sailors and avoid foreign domination of U.S. ocean commerce. But in a comprehensive – and, to date, the only peer-reviewed – analysis of available shipping data and shipping vessel ownership records, we found that cargo preference falls well short of these objectives…

(Read the rest of the article)