Trade

Trump Bailed Out a Foreign Company That Benefited From His Trade War

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

American farmers who only received a couple hundred bucks or less from Trump's farm bailout should be pleased to learn that a Brazilian-owned company that's doing quite well for itself has received not one, not two, but three bailouts.

As part of Trump's $12 billion bailout (which hasn't fully paid out), the Trump regime has made $1.2 billion in commodity purchases that include, among other things, pork.

Commodity purchases don't always directly benefit farmers because commodities are sold on an open market after crops or livestock have already changed hands. And to demonstrate that fact, the Department of Agriculture has bailed out a Brazilian-owned meatpacking company, JBS USA, multiple times totaling over $62 million in purchases.

And, by the way, JBS USA and its owners are under investigation for corruption.

From the New York Daily News:

The Department of Agriculture cut a contract in January to purchase $22.3 million worth of pork from plants operated by JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS SA, which ranks as the largest meatpacker in the world.

The bailout raised eyebrows from industry insiders at the time, as it was sourced from a $12 billion program meant for American farmers harmed by President Trump’s escalating trade war with China and other countries.

But previously undisclosed purchase reports obtained by the Daily News this week reveal the administration has since issued at least two more bailouts to JBS, even as Trump’s own Justice Department began investigating the meatpacker, whose owners are Joesley and Wesley Batista — two wealthy brothers who have confessed to bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil. [...]

Nonetheless, Trump’s Agriculture Department issued $14.5 million in bailout cash for pork products from JBS in February and another $25.6 million earlier this month, totaling more than $62.4 million, according to the purchase reports.

But wait, it gets much better!

The Trump regime has bailed out JBS three times since January as part of Trump's bailout for the American agricultural industry, but JBS is not owned by Americans.

In fact, JBS directly benefited from Trump's trade war before he bailed them out three times.

China imposed retaliatory tariffs on American pork, among other things, in response to Trump's tariffs. China's tariffs prompted Chinese importers to replace American exports with exports from other countries and that created an enormous opportunity for foreign companies; companies like JBS which saw their exports to China increase by 24 percent in 2018 according to public records reviewed by the New York Daily News.

JBS took advantage of an opportunity created by Trump and then Trump paid them more on top of it. And Americans are paying for it twice. American consumers pay for Trump's tariffs and taxpayers pay for his bailouts.

It's evidently good to be a foreign-owned agricultural business operating inside the United States. You get increased business and bailouts.

  • muselet

    I don’t want to believe that JBS got three bailout payments because its owners bribed Brazilian officials, but that’s what it looks like from here.

    Donald Trump wants a piece of the Batistas’ action.

    –alopecia