Aid for U.S. Cleanup Isn’t Free

Of all the countries that have aided the U.S. in the BP oil cleanup, Mexico is the only one not asking to be repaid. The U.S. almost always gives disaster aid free of charge.

In a Google News article, Associated Press reporters Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan say the State Department has confirmed that offers of equipment or expertise from foreign governments since the April 20 oil rig explosion have come with an expectation of reimbursement from the U.S.

“With the U.S. widely regarded as the world’s wealthiest nation,” Lee and Sullivan write, “there is a double standard regarding foreign aid after a crisis, especially with offers from relatively poor countries.”

The article lists several offers of aid, including: a containment boom from China, for a price; chemical dispersants and equipment from France, for a price; oil-collecting sweep arms from Vietnam, on the condition that the U.S. pay for them; and more.

Mark Toner, a spokesman from the State Department, said the government is not disappointed.

“What we’re concerned with right now is getting these types of assistance as they become available, as they are useful to our cleanup operations, getting them into action so they can clean up the Gulf,” he said.

To read the Associated Press article, click here:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ ALeqM5inKY7pPzl_Ro9FUC2qN56oflzqFAD9GDSCT01