According to a report seen by US publication The Washington Post, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase 1.8m lbs of pork products from JBS, allegedly using funds appropriated by the Trump Administration to help American family farmers and ranchers during the administration’s trade war.
The Washington Post reports that US$5m of pork would be bought from JBS through the bailout scheme.
The programme also involves the purchase of US$1.2bn in surplus products from farmers, including more than $500m from pork producers, for distribution to food banks across the country.
In response, NFU president Roger Johnson said: “The irony that this money that is supposed to be supporting American producers is actually going to the behemoth Brazilian meatpacking firm JBS is not lost on the American family farmer. USDA should not be sending money—directly or indirectly—to Brazil, the country that has benefitted the most from the President’s trade wars. In fact, because of our strained relations with China, Brazilian farmers have received a $2 price premium on their soybeans compared to American farmers.
“Farmers Union strongly urges USDA to reject bids by companies owned by JBS to receive money from the trade aid program. This money should instead be directed to the American farm families struggling with depressed prices and lost markets because of the administration’s reckless trade strategy.”