Trump administration gives crooked Brazilian meatpacker another taxpayer-funded bailout despite bipartisan outrage


By Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News

Jan 10, 2020


Bucking mounting bipartisan outrage, the Trump administration this week issued another bailout to a Brazilian-owned meatpacker with a long history of corruption ó meaning the shady foreign firm has now received more than $100 million in taxpayer cash meant for struggling American farmers.


JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA, was given the latest bailout contract from the Agriculture Department on Thursday, raking in $10.8 million for nearly 6.5 million pounds of pork, according to a procurement order.


As first reported by the Daily News, JBS USA received at least four similar contracts last year, making it the single biggest beneficiary of President Trumpís farm bailout program, which was drawn up to alleviate financial burdens of American agricultural producers struggling to make ends meet because of the administrationís tariff-heavy trade war with China.


Accounting for the latest contract, JBS USA has received at least $100.8 million in farm bailouts, according to a previously undisclosed Agriculture Department document reviewed by The News.


The taxpayer-funded bailout program ó which Trump replenished with $16 billion in May after the first $8.6 billion ran out ó is designed to buy up excess products that farmers arenít able to sell because of the trade war and then distribute those goods to domestic food programs.


Members of Congress from both sides of aisle have shredded the administrationís payments to JBS, questioning how subsidizing a foreign-owned company helps American farmers.


Adding to such concerns, JBS SA remains, via a holding company, under the control of Wesley and Joesley Batista, a couple of notoriously corrupt Brazilian brothers who have spent time in jail and admitted to bribing hundreds of government officials in their home country. The Batistasí business dealings are also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department over potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called on the Treasury Department...