WASHINGTON (AFP)— More than 20 countries, from Canada to Japan, have offered assistance to the United States over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, very little of which has been accepted, the State Department has saidAmong the 22 nations offering assistance include the Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Qatar, Ireland, Japan, Croatia, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Spain, the UK and China. Many of these offers were through the United Nations' International Maritime Organization, which has sent out bulletins to all 169 member nations regarding the spill.
While few offers have been outright rejected, most offers from foreign nations and companies are reportedly "still under consideration" by the State Department.
So far more than 13,500 feet of boom from Mexico, 10,000 feet (2 miles) of boom from Canada, skimmers and a trio of sweeping arm systems from Holland and 8 skimmers as well as more boom from Norway have been accepted.
Don't think it's just foreign outfits that have been rebuffed by the State Department, tho'. An Auburn, ME packaging company that has already manufactured some 80,000 feet of containment boom over the last month was also initally rebuffed by BP and the Feds.
As badly as the Bush Administration bungled the immediate post-Katrina response, he did temporarily waive the Jones Act that placed restrictions on shipping along the US coast for foreign-flagged vessels (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920). It has taken the Obama Administration more than 7 weeks to announce any sort of waiver or easement of the Merchant Marine Act.