President Obama Goes To Indonesia, U.s. Taxpayers Foot Anti-development Funding

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9th November 2010, 10:17am - Views: 10104






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MEDIA RELEASE PR42106


President Obama Goes to Indonesia, U.S. Taxpayers Foot Anti-Development Funding


FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --


    As President Obama continues his 10-day Asian tour this week, Frontiers

of Freedom President George Landrith issued the following statement today,

imploring the president to rethink the "assistance" he intends to offer

Indonesia in the form of aid money from the U.S. Millennium Challenge

Corporation (MCC):


    "Scared from last week's elections, President Obama has quickly skipped

away from the capital this week to attend two Asian economic summits in South

Korea and Japan. But on his way there, he will make a stop in Indonesia,

where he is expected to announce that the MCC will pledge some of the $700

million it has already allotted to Indonesia to purportedly help the nation

meet its environmental and economic goals. This benevolence, however, is

simply a facade. With $7.4 billion already dispersed from MCC's coffers

worldwide since 2004, this diversion of funds simply does not fit the

agency's bill.


    "During the first stop of his trip in India this past weekend, the

president spoke in support of advancing economic growth and increasing living

standards in the developing world. But his intentions for Indonesia would

have the opposite effect. For example, MCC aid money will be slated for

ceasing deforestation; that's an assault on the livelihoods of millions of

Indonesians. And this misguided charity will destroy key sectors of

Indonesia's economy, namely forestry and agriculture. In addition, this

supposed helping-hand is being extended at the same time the U.S. is imposing

tariffs and duties on Indonesia's most widely-traded products.


    "The president's plan to use this aid funding to coerce Indonesia to

limit commercial forestry and reduce emissions goes beyond the scope of MCC's

mission, too. The agency was created to fund programs that reduce poverty and

foster economic development. Expending MCC funds like this, though, not only

damages Indonesia's leading exports, but also is a severe misuse of U.S.

taxpayer money.


    "The president believes that U.S. taxpayer monies are better spent

restricting a developing nation's trade than solving problems at home. It

appears that the president has yet to learn one of the main lessons that

should have been clearly derived from the mid-term election results, namely,

if your policies kill jobs and sour economic growth, then don't expect a warm

reception. Hopefully Indonesia reacts the same way to the president's MCC

offer.


    "Diverting MCC funding away from its stated goals and towards objectives

championed by Western environmental activists will not only restrict the

ability of Indonesia's businesses to compete in the global marketplace, but

also thwart opportunities for Indonesia's labor force to engage in the

sustainable management of natural resources. Our government should not be

funding the goals of 'green' organizations, but rather the development of

industries and enterprises that will provide a more secure economic future

for Indonesia's families.


    "Frontiers of Freedom urges President Obama to continue carrying the

pro-growth messages he relayed in India onto Indonesia. His use of government

agencies like MCC to impose ideological views, and those shared by his

environmental supporters, on developing nations is ill-advised. Furthermore,

President Obama's stimulus and attempts to pass environmental legislation

have rightfully failed here in America. Let us all hope the president does

not try to inflict the same sort of damage on Indonesia's people and economy

under the guise of international aid. The poor in other countries should now

not have to live with these bad policies."


    SOURCE: Frontiers of Freedom


    CONTACT: Heather Bachman of Frontiers of Freedom, 

             +1-703-246-0110,

             press@ff.org








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