Boycott Watch
June 25, 2004
Congressman Jack Kingston Outraged that French Company holds Lucrative DoD Contract to Feed U.S. Marines
Summary: After a call for more information, Boycott Watch readers pulled through and sent us the scoop.

    WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Jack Kingston (R/Ga-1) has asked U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to reconsider allowing a French company to continue to profit from feeding U.S. troops. In a letter mailed March 28th, Congressman Kingston asked Secretary Rumsfeld to "immediately review the contract between the United States Armed Services and SODEXHO" and to "consider renegotiating all contracts with this French based company."

    Recently, the French owned company SODEXHO signed an eight year, $881 million dollar contract to provide the meals for U.S. Marines in 55 garrison mess facilities in the United States. "We urge you to consider transferring this lucrative contract to a United States based firm with emphasis on offering more contracts to small, disadvantaged, Veteran, and minority owned businesses," Kingston wrote.

    Kingston's letter to Secretary Rumsfeld was co-signed by 59 other Members of Congress. "My colleagues and I abhor the idea of continuing to pour American dollars into a French based firm when those dollars could be feeding our wartime economy," Kingston stated in the letter. "Additionally, termination of the relationship between SODEXHO and the US military will send a tangible signal to the French government that there are economic consequences associated with their international policies."

   When gathering co-signatures for the letter to the Defense Secretary, Kingston stated to all other House Members, "I think you will agree that it is inconsistent for us to continue to pour billions of dollars into the French economy in the face of the recent French failures even to consider support of the U.S. position on the disarming of Iraq. It is particularly disturbing that this French company should benefit so much from a contract that serves our men and women in uniform."

    SODEXHO has reacted by saying thousands of Americans could lose their jobs, but Rep. Kingston responds, "The bottom line is that the jobs will remain in America, because the food for the U.S. Marine garrisons will continue to be prepared and served in America, by Americans, regardless of who would take over the contract."

    Kingston said the reason he headed this effort has nothing to do with the American employees of SODEXHO whom he calls "good, hardworking Americans." "It has been a national pastime in France over the past four months to bash America, and we've reached the point where we've had about all the bashing we can stand.

   I think it is an outrage that a French company is profiting from feeding U.S. Marines, especially while the French government continues to prop up Saddam's regime and allow its companies to supply the Iraqi military."
Special thanks to the office of Congressman Jack Kingston
2242 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee Chairman Legislative Branch
Vice Chairman, House Republican Conference
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