President Donald Trump‘s administration issued a $12 billion bailout for farmers — but $62 million of that has already reportedly been given to an international meatpacking company owned in Brazil that has benefited from the China trade war.
Responding to farmers’ losses in the trade war, Trump has proposed a $3 billion increase up to $15 billion for bailout money, which has been regarded as “very bad policy” from Democrats and Republicans alike.
But it seems the administration hasn’t wisely used the current allotted amount of money.
The Trump administration is coming under fire after a recent report from the New York Daily News revealed tens of millions of dollars were given to a foreign company instead of U.S. farmers.
Specifically, the administration is reported to have showered the company, JBS, with $62.4 million spread out over three occasions to buy pork and other meat from its Colorado-based subsidiary. JBS is the largest meatpacking company in the world with a reported net income of $273 million in the first quarter of 2019.
This issue is not going unnoticed in Congress and is most notably being combatted by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who introduced a bill earlier the year that would limit an administration’s bailouts to American-owned companies.
Explaining the reasoning for her proposal, DeLauro gave the argument that we need to be using bailout money solely for the purpose of funding U.S. farmers.
“We now know that tens of millions of these dollars went to large, multinational corporations — including Brazilian-owned JBS — who are racking up profits while family farmers face collapse,” DeLauro said. “That is outrageous.”
As for the beneficiaries of this deal, JBS business owners Joesley and Wesley Batista are known for their corrupt practices of bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil and have both spent time in jail for it.
Needless to say, JBS does not have the best reputation for business practices and is currently being probed by the Justice Department for an unrelated case for potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
However, this has, in no way, halted the million-dollar transactions between the Trump administration and the Brazilian-based company.