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U.S. Food Aid and Agricultural Cargo Preference Policy


  • Bageant, Elizabeth R.
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Lentz, Erin C.


This paper uses an unprecedentedly rich data set to estimate the cost of agricultural cargo preference (ACP) restrictions on United States food aid programs and to document some of the competitiveness and national security impacts. ACP cost US taxpayers $140 million in 2006, 46 percent above competitive freight costs. The unreimbursed cost of ACP to food aid agencies roughly equals USAID’s non‐emergency food aid to Africa. Furthermore, 70 percent of ACP vessels did not satisfy criteria to be deemed militarily useful and vessels ultimately owned by foreign corporations carried a large share of ACP food aid shipments.

Suggested Citation

  • Bageant, Elizabeth R. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Lentz, Erin C., 2010. "U.S. Food Aid and Agricultural Cargo Preference Policy," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61250, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea10:61250

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth Button, 2016. "The political economy of shipping US food and aid under the cargo preference regime," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 18(4), pages 353-370, December.
    2. Li, Shanjun & Kahn, Matthew E. & Nickelsburg, Jerry, 2015. "Public transit bus procurement: The role of energy prices, regulation and federal subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 57-71.
    3. Gentilini, Ugo, 2014. "Our daily bread : what is the evidence on comparing cash versus food transfers?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 89502, The World Bank.


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