CEI Challenges Attempted Ecological Takeover of Bush Foreign Aid Program

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Washington, D.C., August 11, 2005—This week the Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted comments and a proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) regarding its search for new natural resource management criteria.  The MCC was established as a government corporation to disperse aid money in the form of grants to developing countries that demonstrate a commitment to democracy and economic freedom.

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CEI recommends that the MCC abandon the search for a non-economic environmental indicator and focus instead on the original intent of the program. The Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 states that a candidate country must demonstrate a “commitment to economic policies that promote private sector growth and the sustainable management of natural resources.” Former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman heads the effort to solicit proposals for the new, expanded metric.


If the MCC wishes to clarify the linkage between economic growth and sustainable management, CEI proposes that it include the Property Rights Index component of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.  Private property rights create an incentive for resource owners to consider both long-term and short-term needs when deciding how to use those resources, and transform ‘sustainable development’ into a working method for the efficient management and use of all resources.


The Millennium Challenge Act was signed into law by President Bush in early 2004.


Full text of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s comments to the Millennium Challenge Corporation is available online in PDF.