We recently learned that tens of million of dollars from Trump's first bailout for farmers which began last September landed in the hands of a foreign meat-packing company, JBS, that operates out of Colorado. JBS is owned by two notoriously corrupt Brazilian brothers who are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.
The New York Daily News now reports that funds from Trump's first bailout have also been handed to a corrupt Japanese company that operates out of Oregon.
While Columbia Grain International, a subsidiary of Marubeni, has not received nearly as much money from the Trump regime as JBS has, the company was actually prosecuted by the Justice Department for corruption.
Marubeni’s most serious run-in with the U.S. criminal justice system was in 2014, when it was fined $88 million after pleading guilty to taking part in a scheme to pay bribes to high-ranking government officials in Indonesia to secure a lucrative power project.
In announcing the fine, the Justice Department observed that Marubeni had not cooperated with the agency’s investigation when given the opportunity to do so.
Two years earlier, the Justice Department slapped Marubeni with a $54.6 million criminal penalty after the company plead guilty to charges related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after the U.S. found that Marubeni had taken part in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction contracts.
I don't think you have to step out on a very long limb to guess that JBS and Marubeni are not the only foreign companies that have profited from Trump's bailout that was supposedly intended for struggling farmers.
Moreover, my gut says that not all and possibly not even a majority of the American-owned business that have benefited from Trump's bailout are entirely on-the-level. I would guess that these reports are just scratching the surface and it could be years before we learn just how little of Trump's bailout wound up in the hands of people who actually need it.
If the primary goal of Trump's bailouts is not to help struggling farmers but to stabilize the price of commodities, there's little if any incentive to ensure that it ends up in the hands of the right people. Commodities are nebulous in that they can change hands many times after they're harvested from the land. Commodities are ultimately controlled by executives, traders, and shareholders and artificially increasing the price of commodities with bailouts is not an adequate replacement for the loss of access to foreign markets under Trump's trade war.