Smithfield is a Chinese-owned pork producer based in the USA that exports a lot of pork back to China; when Trump touched off a trade-war with China, he committed to compensating US-based companies that faced retaliatory sanctions at the Chinese border.
You see where this is going, right?
The US government is buying $240,000 worth of pork from Smithfield to compensate it for its lost Chinese sales. Smithfield's Chinese shareholders will get US tax-dollars from Donald J Trump.
The Agriculture Department said last month that Smithfield qualified for the bailout money, noting that the agency would be purchasing only goods produced in the United States. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has expressed alarm that a Chinese-owned firm could benefit from bailout money intended to help American farmers survive a trade war with China.
The timing of Wednesday’s announcement raised some eyebrows.
"It is highly suspicious that this announcement came a day after the midterm elections," said Tony Corbo, senior lobbyist at Food and Water Watch, which tracks federal agriculture programs. "Congress needs to exercise oversight of this program. This is an example of corporate welfare at its worst."
Chinese-owned pork producer is getting U.S. bailout money to protect it from China's tariffs [Jeff Stein/Washington Post]
Trump Town is a Propublica/Columbia Journalism Investigations interactive database of everyone working in the Trump administration; the latest revision reveals that Trump has hired 281 former lobbyists to regulate the industries that used to sign their paychecks.
Earlier this month, we learned that one of the most enduring frustrations of Trump's presidency is that no one will take his suggestion of building a moat filled with man-eating alligators and poisonous snakes along the US border (something he's been talking up for at least 35 years!).
Ben Watson is a reporter for Defenseone, a news site that covers "US defense and National Security" who formerly served in the US Army as a public affairs officer; last week, Watson returned to the USA after an assignment in Denmark, entering the country at Dulles Airport.
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