President Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is playing a key role in the administration’s recent tariffs on steel and other products, has blatant conflicts of interest that are so extreme that Fox News host Steve Hilton, in a segment called “Swamp Watch,” said yesterday that he “is in a different league of swampiness.”
‘What we found will shock you,” said Hilton as he introduced a segment detailing what they had discovered about Ross and his multiple conflicts of interest.
On his show “The Next Revolution,” Hilton pointed out Ross got rich investing in steel companies and co-founded a shipping company, Nautical Bulk Holdings, that currently ships steel to the U.S. from South Korea, which is one of the countries that has been granted a temporary exemption from Trump’s steel tariffs.
“He’s negotiating over South Korean steel imports while making money from importing South Korean steel,” Hilton said.
Hilton also reported that Ross’s chief of staff at Commerce is still listed as a director of Nautical Bulk Holdings despite claiming a year ago she resigned from the company.
Hilton points out that there is no evidence that Ross has resigned from a number of companies that put him in a conflict of interest even though he too made that promises more than a year ago.
Hilton also revealed that companies in which Ross has significant ownership also have ties to companies owned by or connected to Russia, China and Venezuela.
Ross is a part owner of Diamon Shipping, and once served as Chairman of the company.
Its shipping clients include Lukoil and Novatek, both Russian energy companies, Russian state-owned natural gas company GAZPROM, and PetroChina, which is owned by the Chinese government.
“The brutal Communist dictatorship in Beijing may be planning world domination but, hey, let’s not let that stop America’s Commerce Secretary from doing business with them while in office,” said Hilton. “Wow! Talk about globalism.”
Trump is next targeting automobile and auto parts imports for tariffs which raises another question about Ross, who owns part of the shipping company TRF (Transportation and Recovery Fund), which imports lots of auto parts.
“Do you think,” asks Hilton, “that might affect Wilbur Ross’ handling of President Trump’s tariffs on auto imports?”
While the federal conflict of interest rules are fuzzy about what the president can do and own, they are explicit when it comes to cabinet members like Ross, who is clearly in violation of the law.
Hilton said he hopes when Trump – who was elected on a promise to “drain the swamp” – gets back from Singapore, “let’s hope he finds time to toss Wilbur Ross.”
“The American people,” said Hilton, “want to know that when business leaders serve in government they’re representing the interests of all American business and not just their own business.”
There is no question the Trump administration has been a hotbed of conflicts, questionable hires, and scandal but as Hilton says, Ross stands out as an example of the wrong person doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and every day he serves as Commerce Secretary is another bad day for all Americans.
Drain the swamp as you promised President Trump, and start with Wilbur Ross.