February 03, 2005

Craig, Crapo Support Food Aid Programs

Senators urge USTR to protect programs during WTO negotiations

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo sent a letter today supporting the Food for Peace (P.L. 480) program, which provides American-grown food to citizens in other countries. Thirteen other Senators joined them on the letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.The letter is sparked by proposals at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to eliminate food donations in exchange for monetary ones. History demonstrates that monetary donations are often siphoned off by corrupt governments and do little to help those in need. Consequently, the Senators oppose any proposals to eliminate or limit food donations and are urging Ambassador Zoellick to work to preserve the Food for Peace program, which is celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary this year.Senator Craig stated, â??It's important that Food for Peace and other U.S. food aid programs be maintained in WTO trade negotiations currently underway. They are not only important and effective tools for Idaho and U.S. agriculture, but are vital to recipient countries who simply cannot meet the consumer demands of their people.â??Senator Craig continued, â??These programs have a proven track record, and any limitation or elimination of them is irresponsible to the malnourished and hungry people who receive this crucial assistance.â??â??The U.S. is blessed with such an abundant and high-quality food supply,â?? said Senator Crapo, â??and it simply does not make sense to limit our ability to share this food with people in need. U.S. food assistance programs are efficient and transparent mechanisms to help the world's neediest regions progress from food insecurity to sustainable development. Any changes to these programs that would require monetary donations rather than food donations are not acceptable.â??A copy of the letter is available on Senator Craigâ??s website at http://craig.senate.gov under â??Press Shop.â?? [30]