In this file:

 

·         U.S. senators call for probe of Brazilian meatpacker JBS

… Two U.S. senators called on the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday to open an investigation into the world's largest meat processing company, Brazil's JBS S.A. , due to alleged ties with the Venezuelan government of leftist President Nicolas Maduro… Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review transactions by JBS, which has bought several American meat companies in recent years, Rubio's press office said on Twitter…

                

·         Brazil’s JBS Should Get National Security Scrutiny, Senators Say

·         JBS' business dealings reportedly called into question by US senators

·         Rubio becomes first Republican to demand probe of crooked Brazilian meatpacker that benefited from Trump farm bailouts

·         Senators seek investigation of Brazilian meat processor, JBS S.A. [Includes full text of letter]

 ·         Shares in Brazil's JBS fall over 4% after US lawmakers seek probe 

 

 

U.S. senators call for probe of Brazilian meatpacker JBS

 

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Clarence Fernandez, Reuters

via WTAQ (WI) - October 08, 2019

 

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators called on the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday to open an investigation into the world's largest meat processing company, Brazil's JBS S.A. , due to alleged ties with the Venezuelan government of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

 

President Donald Trump's government has imposed sanctions on dozens of top Venezuelan officials as well as state oil company PDVSA in an effort to remove Maduro, whom it accuses of fixing elections last year and abusing human rights in the oil-rich nation.

 

Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review transactions by JBS, which has bought several American meat companies in recent years, Rubio's press office said on Twitter.

 

"This meat-processing conglomerate has engaged in illicit financial activities and has business ties with the Maduro regime," the Twitter post said.

 

In a statement, JBS said it had always cooperated "transparently" with U.S. authorities regarding "passed events" in Brazil.

 

It had improved the management of the companies it acquired in the United States, delivering "solid results" that contributed to farm sector growth, JBS added, and continues to provide opportunities to farming and cattle-raising families.

 

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

In August, Washington froze all Venezuelan state assets in the United States and threatened sanctions on any company continuing to do business with the government.

 

In their letter to Mnuchin, made public on Tuesday, the senators said CFIUS should investigate the business transactions among JBS, the Venezuelan Corporation of Foreign Trade (CORPOVEX) and Diosdado Cabello, a powerful ally of Maduro who is under U.S. sanctions.

 

They did not provide further details about the alleged transactions.

 

The senators said JBS had engaged in the bribery of public officials...

 

more

https://wtaq.com/news/articles/2019/oct/08/us-senators-call-for-probe-of-brazilian-meatpacker-jbs/

 

 

Brazil’s JBS Should Get National Security Scrutiny, Senators Say

 

·         Rubio and Menendez ask Treasury’s Mnuchin for review

·         Letter mentions Brazil bribery scandal and links to Venezuela

 

By Julia Leite and David McLaughlin, Bloomberg

October 8, 2019

 

JBS SA, the Brazilian meatpacking giant that spent much of the past few years battling fallout from a corruption scandal could see fresh troubles after two U.S. senators requested a review of deals made by the conglomerate.

 

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. review transactions made by the company, which “engaged in illicit financial activities including bribing Brazilian government officials and the business relationships with Venezuela’s illegitimate Maduro regime.”

 

The committee, known as Cfius, is a powerful and secretive body led by the Treasury Department that reviews foreign acquisitions of American businesses for national security risks. It gained expanded authority last year amid rising concern over Chinese purchases of U.S. technology firms, and also includes the Pentagon and the Justice Department.

 

Cfius can impose conditions on deals or recommend to the president that a transaction be blocked. It has the authority to investigate deals that have already closed, if the companies involved didn’t file for approval. This year the panel required the Chinese owner of Grindr is required to sell the popular gay-dating app by June 2020 after raising national security concerns about the app’s ownership.

 

JBS, which started in the 1950s butchering five head of cattle a day, became the world’s largest meat producer after spending more than $20 billion on a string of acquisitions, including U.S. company Swift & Co., Smithfield Foods Inc.’s beef unit and poultry supplier Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

 

The company was thrown into disarray in 2017 after the brothers who control it, Wesley and Joesley Batista, admitted to bribing hundreds of politicians, including then-President Michel Temer, a scandal that almost toppled Temer’s government.

 

In 2017, JBS said it had hired law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP to negotiate a leniency agreement with the Justice Department, though on May 31 the company said it was not under investigation by the department but simply complying with the department’s request for information.

 

Since then, the company has recovered amid increasing demand after an outbreak of a deadly swine virus ravaged China’s pork industry. That could expand JBS’s global influence for years to come. The firm was planning to resume its planned U.S. initial public offering, though it said it wasn’t in a rush to do so.

 

Brazilian development bank BNDES...

 

more, including links

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-08/brazil-s-jbs-should-get-national-security-scrutiny-senators-say

 

 

JBS' business dealings reportedly called into question by US senators

 

By Simon Harvey, Just-Food

9 October 2019

 

Two US senators have reportedly called for an investigation into business deals struck by Brazilian meat processor JBS.

 

The Sao Paulo-based company has been part of an ongoing probe by Brazilian authorities, along with fellow meat packer BRF, into a corruption scandal dating back to 2017 which involved bribing government inspectors to overlook unsanitary conditions and practises.

 

Last week, BRF admitted its part in the case, known as the Carne Fraca investigation, or "Weak Flesh" probe, as part of a leniency agreement being negotiated for its continued cooperation in the case.

 

In a new development, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democrat counterpart Bob Menendez have requested the US Treasury, via the Committee on Foreign Investment (Cfius), to review transactions made by the company along with its alleged dealings with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which is the subject of sanctions by the US, Bloomberg reported.

 

The senators say JBS "engaged in illicit financial activities including bribing Brazilian government officials", while they have also raised questions over the relationship with Maduro's regime.

 

Fellow news agency Reuters said President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on dozens of top Venezuelan officials as well as state oil company PDVSA in an effort to remove Maduro, whom it accuses of fixing elections last year and abusing human rights.

 

In a company statement seen by Reuters, JBS said it had always cooperated "transparently" with US authorities regarding "passed events" in Brazil.

 

The senators made the claims in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in which they asked Cfius to "conduct a review of JBS' acquisition of US companies."

 

JBS is owned by the Batista family via controlling shareholder J&F Participacoes, and some of its members have been implicated in the corruption probe. Former chairman Joesley Batista stepped down...

 

more, including links

https://www.just-food.com/news/jbs-business-dealings-reportedly-called-into-question-by-us-senators_id142380.aspx

 

 

Rubio becomes first Republican to demand probe of crooked Brazilian meatpacker that benefited from Trump farm bailouts

 

By Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News

Oct 08, 2019

 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio became the first congressional Republican on Tuesday to call for an investigation into a Brazilian meatpacking company that has raked in millions of dollars in Trump administration farm bailouts despite a long history of corruption and seedy international ties.

 

Rubio, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee’s panel on transnational crime, urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a letter to have his department begin a formal review of how JBS SA has been able to become one of the biggest players in the U.S. food industry, even though its notoriously corrupt owners have admitted to bribing thousands of Brazilian officials, done business with Venezuela and relied on financing tied to China’s authoritarian government.

 

Rubio’s letter, which was co-signed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), stressed that Mnuchin should use his authority to look into whether JBS’s American foray was illegal, since it has admitted to using illicit funds to establish its main U.S. subsidiary, Colorado’s JBS USA.

 

"Given its admitted criminal conduct to secure loans that were used for investment in the United States...we ask that CFIUS conduct a review of JBS SA’s acquisition of U.S. companies,” Rubio and Menendez said in the letter, using an acronym for the department’s Committee on Foreign Investment.

 

The lawmakers added, “The activities and operations of JBS SA have implications for our national security and the security of the American food system.”

 

The Treasury Department did not return a request for comment.

 

JBS — which is controlled by admitted criminal brothers, Joesley and Wesley Batista — pledged via a spokesman that the company will cooperate with “all relevant authorities in a transparent manner regarding past events in Brazil.”

 

JBS, which is already under Justice Department investigation for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, has been able to expand in the U.S. with help from President Trump’s Agriculture Department, as first reported by the Daily News in May.

 

The Brazilian meat behemoth has pocketed at least $62 million in product bailouts sourced from a program Trump established to alleviate the financial burdens American farmers have faced due to the president’s escalating trade war with China.

 

Several Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have previously demanded investigations into JBS...

 

more

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-rubio-republican-probe-brazilian-trump-farm-bailouts-20191009-a23ys3yq6ndjhhlsr5qskayjem-story.html

 

 

Senators seek investigation of Brazilian meat processor, JBS S.A.

 

Source: Senator Rubio

via Tri-State Livestock News - October 9, 2019

 

Miami, FL – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) formally open a review of the transactions of Brazilian meat-processing conglomerate, JBS S.A. Over the last twelve years, JBS S.A. has become increasingly active in the American food sector. However, as the conglomerate moved into the U.S. market, it engaged in illicit financial activities including bribing Brazilian government officials and the business relationships with Venezuela’s illegitimate Maduro regime.

 

“Given its admitted criminal conduct to secure loans that were used for investment in the United States and the group’s business relationships with Venezuela’s Maduro regime, as well as its growing reliance on financing from entities aligned with the Chinese government, we ask that CFIUS conduct a review of JBS S.A.’s acquisition of U.S. companies,” Rubio and Menendez wrote. “The growing trend of foreign investment in our food system demands increased attention and scrutiny in order to safeguard our nation’s food supply.”

 

Rubio is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

 

The full text of the letter below.

 

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

 

We write to express our concern about the ability of foreign companies involved in illicit financial activities to acquire United States companies in the food sector, specifically the Brazilian meat-processing conglomerate JBS S.A., which engaged in bribery of public officials as a methodology to obtain funds that it then used for such acquisitions. The activities and operations of JBS S.A. have implications for our national security and the security of the American food system, and we respectfully request that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) exercise its authority to review these transactions.

 

Over the last twelve years, Brazil-based JBS S.A. has become increasingly active in the American food sector. In 2007, JBS S.A. established a U.S. subsidiary—JBS USA—that purchased the American beef and pork processing company Swift Foods Co. Through a deal in 2008, JBS USA acquired the beef processing operations of Smithfield Foods. In 2009, JBS USA obtained the majority of the poultry processing operations of Pilgrim’s Pride. Additionally, JBS USA purchased Cargill’s pork processing operations in 2015. Today, JBS S.A. is the world’s largest meat-processing company and has major holdings across the U.S. food sector. These acquisitions have serious implications for the security, safety, and resiliency of our food system.

 

During the period in which JBS S.A. has moved increasingly into the U.S. market, the company has been implicated in a wide range of illicit activities in Brazil. In 2017, J&F Investimentos, which owns more than 40 percent of JBS S.A., reached a settlement to pay a $3.2 billion fine for its role in an expansive bribery scandal in Brazil. In advance of this settlement, J&F Investimentos’ owners Joesley and Wesley Batista—the sons of JBS S.A. founder José Batista Sobrinho—admitted to bribing more than 1,800 Brazilian politicians in amounts totaling more than $150 million in order to illicitly acquire loans and financing from the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and several Brazilian pension funds.

 

We are troubled that JBS S.A. used the ill-gotten financing that it received from BNDES, which totaled more than $1.3 billion, to acquire American companies. It has been reported that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation on J&F Investimentos for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which only underscores our concerns that the questionable nature of JBS S.A.’s financial practices poses significant risks for its American subsidiaries and the U.S. food system.

 

Beyond its links to illicit activities in Brazil, JBS S.A. globally has conducted business with a range of dubious partners, including the Venezuelan Corporation of Foreign Trade (CORPOVEX), which was identified by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in September 2017 for its involvement in public corruption. Investigative reporting has documented that Venezuela’s food procurement practices are rife with bribery. The Batista brothers’ personal relationship with sanctioned Venezuelan official Diosdado Cabello only raises further concerns.

 

Given its admitted criminal conduct to secure loans that were used for investment in the United States and the group’s business relationships with Venezuela’s Maduro regime, as well as its growing reliance on financing from entities aligned with the Chinese government, we ask that CFIUS conduct a review of JBS S.A.’s acquisition of U.S. companies to assess the implications for security and safety of America’s food supply and, in turn, our national security. The growing trend of foreign investment in our food system demands increased attention and scrutiny in order to safeguard our nation’s food supply.

 

We appreciate your careful attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

Senator Menendez and Senator Rubio

 

source url

https://www.tsln.com/news/senators-seek-investigation-of-brazilian-meat-processor-jbs-s-a/

 

 

Shares in Brazil's JBS fall over 4% after US lawmakers seek probe

 

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Toby Chopra, Reuters

via WKZO - October 09, 2019

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Shares in Brazilian meat processor JBS S.A. fell more than 4% early on Wednesday after U.S. senators sought to bring a probe into the company's U.S. acquisitions.

 

Two U.S. senators called on the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday to open an investigation into the world's largest meat processing company due to...

 

more

https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2019/oct/09/shares-in-brazils-jbs-fall-over-4-after-us-lawmakers-seek-probe/