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.


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