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Summary: Status Quo policy on US food aid to foreign countries requires at least 50% of the food to be delivered on US-flagged vessels, a policy known as Cargo Preferences for Food Aid, or CPFA.
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About "Cargo Preference Food Aid"
Status Quo policy on US food aid to foreign countries requires at least 50% of the food to be delivered on US-flagged vessels, a policy known as Cargo Preferences for Food Aid, or CPFA. The CPFA requirement used to be 75% US ships, but that was lowered to 50% in 2012 and lobbyists for the maritime industry are successfully telling Congress not to lower it any further. President Trump recently even proposed raising it to 100%, although it appears he has backed off from that idea. CPFA creates delays in food aid arrival in starving countries because they have to wait until US-flag ships are available. Delay means death, because people die while waiting for food to arrive. And in the 2A backup evidence, you can read about the long-term health impacts on children where, even if the food does arrive eventually, the malnutrition they experience while waiting for it leads to lifetime health problems.
CPFA also raises the cost of food aid. The limited number of ships available to carry the aid results in bidding up the price for their services, given that they don’t have to compete against foreign ships. Higher shipping costs directly link to less food for starving people, since government agencies specifically cut food aid programs to pay for the higher cost of shipping.
If you’re worried about topicality, some things to keep in mind. First, the plan meets all the definitions given in the 1AC. Second, while the food aid policies themselves (who should get food, what kinds of food, etc) are managed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA), the CPFA itself is directly managed by the US Dept of Transportation. This plan changes only the CPFA and not any extra-topical policies on food aid itself, only how the bags of food are transported.
Be careful when arguing for this plan not to confuse or mingle it with another food aid policy that many experts also advocate abolishing: the US food sourcing requirement. The food that is sent as aid is required to be grown and sourced within the US, rather than buying it locally or regionally near the poor countries affected by the need. Removing that requirement would also speed up delivery and reduce cost, but it’s not a transportation policy, so we can’t do it, and we don’t in this plan. We cite here evidence that is specific to the transportation aspect only, CPFA, and specifies the impacts caused by CPFA to make the case.
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