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Who is Foreign Aid For? Foreigners or U.S. Corporations?
Townhall.com ^ | July 5, 2014 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 07/05/2014 8:42:20 AM PDT by Kaslin

Logically, one might assume that "foreign" aid is legitimate aid to foreigners. A little digging reveals the true nature of "aid".

For example, please consider the Foreign Policy Journal report Monsanto and Foreign Aid: Forcing El Salvador’s Hand.

U.S. foreign aid is expected to promote poverty alleviation and facilitate developmental growth in impoverished countries. Yet, corporations and special interest groups have permeated even the most well-intended of U.S. policies.

El Salvador is a recent example of corporate domination in U.S. foreign aid. The United States will withhold the Millennium Challenge Compact aid deal, approximately $277 million in aid, unless El Salvador purchases genetically-modified seeds from biotech giant, Monsanto.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is “a U.S. foreign aid agency that was created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004,” according to Sustainable Pulse, and serves as a conduit for foreign aid funds. MCC’s unethical aid conditions would force El Salvador to purchase controversial seeds from the American biotech corporation instead of purchasing non-GMO seeds from the country’s local farmers – an action that would have negative effects on El Salvador’s agricultural industry in addition to presenting serious health and environmental risks.

The conditional foreign aid from MCC is an attempt to break into El Salvador’s non-GMO agricultural sector and exploit the food market. Because El Salvador has high food insecurity, it imports 85% of its food. This allows U.S. foreign aid organizations to take advantage of the dire need for their own monetary gain. The United States used similar aid policies in Haiti to force open Haiti’s agricultural market for U.S. food products – effectively destroying Haiti’s agricultural economy and creating an overreliance on food aid.

Due to powerful lobbying by corporate giants like Monsanto, in addition to the shipping and agricultural industries, the U.S. government’s foreign aid program has become an encroaching business. Just when the U.S. foreign aid program couldn’t appear to be more corrupt, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Congress, and Monsanto have raised the bar.

The remedy is simple. Stop all foreign aid.

Most foreign "aid" isn't really "aid" but rather handouts to US corporations. Monsanto is a prime example of agricultural "aid". Weapons manufacturers are the true beneficiaries of military "aid".

Very little "aid" actually gets to the actual citizens of the countries we allegedly attempt to help. In the case of Haiti and El Salvador, our "aid" actually does harm.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: foreignaid

1 posted on 07/05/2014 8:42:20 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Because El Salvador has high food insecurity, it imports 85% of its food.

Citing consequences doth not betray the causes. I had no idea the imbalance was that bad there. Other than the tautology above, I'd like to know the real "reasons" for this ag trade imbalance.

2 posted on 07/05/2014 8:46:42 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: Kaslin
Because El Salvador has high food insecurity, it imports 85% of its food.

They're growing for trade rather than food. It's a good deal on paper, but not for most people, which is why they are landing on our doorstep. From this source:

Arable land in 2003 consisted of 910,000 hectares (2,249,000 acres) planted with annual and permanent crops. Irrigation covered 4.9% of this area in 2003, half of it in the Sonsonate and Sensunapan region. In 2003, agriculture represented 9.8% of GDP and 17.1% of employment.

Coffee, El Salvador's major crop (30% of total agricultural output), is grown principally in the west and northwest at elevations of 460 to 1,520 m (1,500 to 5,000 ft). Primarily as a result of the civil war, coffee production declined in the 1980s. In June 1993, the Ministry of Economy certified the first shipment of organic coffee; the agrarian reform cooperative that produced the coffee had not used chemicals or pesticides for over four years. Production in 2004 amounted to 83,000 tons (down from 156,000 tons in 1990). Exports of coffee in 2004 amounted 80,744 tons, valued at to $123.4 million. The coffee industry is a major employer in El Salvador, generating about 82,000 jobs.

Sugar production fell between 1979 and 1981 but later recovered; cane production in 2004 was 5.3 million tons, and the sugar industry contributed $37.6 million to the country's foreign exchange earnings in 2004. Sugar is the most important agricultural product after coffee, and is grown mostly by independent producers. Investment has increased, as has the area under cultivation (in contrast to the other two major export crops). The world price has, however, been in decline for several years, and this decline has cut export earnings; the government secured a $30.4 million loan from Venezuela to divert some production to gasohol.

Traditional grains grown in El Salvador include white corn, sorghum, rice, and edible beans. These crops make up the fundamental diet for most Salvadorans and are produced on virtually all small farms. Production amounts in 2004 included corn, 648,000 tons; sorghum, 148,000 tons; rice, 26,500 tons; and beans, 72,000 tons. An additional 441,660 tons of corn were imported in 2004 to meet local demand.

Land that was originally planted for cotton is now being used for sugarcane, pasture, and nontraditional crops. El Salvador has steadily shifted agricultural exports towards nontraditional items such as jalapeño peppers, marigold flowers, okra, and pineapples. Traditional coffee areas are also being absorbed by urbanization projects.

3 posted on 07/05/2014 8:53:38 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t believe there are any “well intentioned” policies. There are people involved, certainly, who believe they are doing something good. But money spent on foreign aide is corporate welfare.

If you want to help a country you remove the tariff from the goods they export to you and you stop subsidizing the goods you export to them. (We created Japan Inc doing just that. But we were trying to keep them out of the Soviet sphere which was an iffy proposition at the time.)


4 posted on 07/05/2014 8:55:09 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Kaslin

End ALL foreign aid, period. All it does is line the pockets of special interests, and bankrolls dictatorships and crackpot regimes. The “aid” is nothing more than a third world extortion racket.


5 posted on 07/05/2014 8:56:12 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Kaslin
I'm not a big fan of foreign aid. But if we are going to be against the whole concept we need to understand how it works. Here is my simplified version.

FOREIGN AID IS USED TO:

1. Bribe foreign leaders into supporting U.S. policies.
2. Bribe foreign religious leaders into supporting U.S. policies.
3. Bribe foreign senior military leaders into supporting U.S policies.
4. Payoff U.S. companies with Foreign Military (or otherwise) Sales. Companies that don't support the current administration need not apply.

Now I admit that sounds pretty bad. But don't forget that it won't sound bad to the Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians and many others who will gladly fill the vacuum if we walk away.

So, before we all jump on the bandwagon we need to weigh the costs and benefits. The costs are high so that is a consideration. The benefits? Well that is a good question isn't it?

In fact I'm not sure we are getting enough bang for the buck. At least not from the Obama Administration. Right now I would probably opt for killing it just to see what happens.

6 posted on 07/05/2014 8:59:32 AM PDT by InterceptPoint (Remember Mississippi)
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To: Kaslin
"Foreign aid is taking money from the poor folks in the rich countries and giving it to rich folks in the poor countries." --Otto Passman
7 posted on 07/05/2014 9:04:12 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Kaslin

Until our debt is ZERO, we should not be giving away any money. It is insanity.


8 posted on 07/05/2014 9:09:38 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty or Big Government - you can't have both.)
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To: InterceptPoint

You forgot about how foreign aid lines the pockets of the Beltway bandits. DC is full of $800/hour lawyers whose full-time job is securing AID and other foreign aid funds for their clients.


9 posted on 07/05/2014 9:11:08 AM PDT by RBroadfoot
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To: factoryrat

Let’s face it, folks. This is how a modern empire works.


10 posted on 07/05/2014 9:13:28 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: Carry_Okie
El Salvador is basically nonfunctional because it has had nothing but nonfunctional authoritarian governments. The same can be said about Honduras and Guatemala, the other two major Central American exporters of refugees.

On the other hand, three Central American governments are mostly functional and go not export economic refugees-- Belize, Costa Rica and Panama.

There is a reason illegal migrants choose to make the long trip across Mexico to invade the United States rather than the short trip to one of these three neighbors. Any guesses as to the main reason?

11 posted on 07/05/2014 9:17:19 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: RBroadfoot
You forgot about how foreign aid lines the pockets of the Beltway bandits. DC is full of $800/hour lawyers whose full-time job is securing AID and other foreign aid funds for their clients.

Point taken. I kind of lumped that in with the U.S. companies. But given the emergence of our new Beltway Bandit Superstar Haley Barbour, it is certainly appropriate to give it greater emphasis.

12 posted on 07/05/2014 9:18:36 AM PDT by InterceptPoint (Remember Mississippi)
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To: Vigilanteman
Any guesses as to the main reason?

Dispossession of their land by corporate agribusiness?

13 posted on 07/05/2014 9:44:17 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: Alberta's Child
This is how a modern Fascist empire works.
14 posted on 07/05/2014 10:05:46 AM PDT by seowulf (Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum. Cogito.---Ambrose Bierce)
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To: factoryrat

Amen. The Constitution does not authorize government to transfer money of U.S. taxpayers to foreigners.


15 posted on 07/05/2014 10:18:35 AM PDT by all the best
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To: Kaslin
The only question you'll ever need about "foreign aid".

Has a "developing country" ever developed due to "foreign aid"? Name it.

How many foreign dictators have become millionaires on "foreign aid"? Why should American workers be taxed to create millionaire dictators?

Sorry, I added a couple of questions, but really all you need is the first one.

16 posted on 07/05/2014 12:40:58 PM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: Kaslin

foreign aid should be for dire emergencies like after a tsunami or something and temporary


17 posted on 07/05/2014 12:42:11 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Carry_Okie

because of foreign aid they don’t need to grow their own food I guess


18 posted on 07/05/2014 12:42:47 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Kaslin
. The deficit is sustained in part by huge inflows of remittances from Salvadoran workers in the US, estimated at $1.34 billion in 1998.
19 posted on 07/05/2014 12:44:53 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Carry_Okie

13.1% of their exports are food


20 posted on 07/05/2014 12:46:27 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/El-Salvador-FOREIGN-TRADE.html


21 posted on 07/05/2014 12:46:51 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL
13.1% of their exports are food

Cash crops are not grown as food.

22 posted on 07/05/2014 1:13:39 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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