Report Claims Trump Wants To Bail Out Cruise Industry Because He Happens To Be Friends With Carnival Chairman Who Also Sponsored “The Apprentice”

There's a very corrupt reason why Trump is pushing so hard to secure a massive bailout for the cruise line industry.


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634 points

The cruise line industry should not receive a bailout from taxpayers, but President Donald Trump wants to give them one anyway because he’s friends with the chairman of Carnival Cruises.

One of the first industries Trump has been pushing to receive a bailout is the cruise industry even though it acted irresponsibly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It failed to shut down voluntarily when it knew there was a major problem due to the virus spreading easily aboard their ships. Then it tried to use the pandemic as a sales tactic by falsely claiming that the virus can’t survive in warm climates, where cruise ships often sail.

But it’s Trump’s friendship with Carnival Cruises chairman Micky Arison that is apparently the main reason why he is pushing for a bailout that could run into the millions and billions of dollars. It also turns out that Arison sponsored The Apprentice and two Trump supporters are Carnival lobbyists.

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According to the Miami Herald:

The company’s chairman, Arison, who also owns the Miami Heat N.B.A. team, has long been an acquaintance of Trump’s. The Washington Post reported that Carnival Corp. helped sponsor Trump’s reality television show ‘The Apprentice,’ and the two men have exchanged congratulatory tweets over the years.

Trump fundraiser Brian Ballard, Pam Bondi — the former Florida attorney general who defended Trump during his impeachment trial — and her sister-in-law Tandy Bondi were registered lobbyists for Carnival Corp. in 2019, as first reported by the Post.”

And Trump is preparing to do this despite the fact that none of these ships fly under the American flag, nor do they employ Americans.

As Slate reported:

While the world’s three top cruise lines—Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian—are all based in Miami, they flag their ships in foreign tax havens like Panama, Bermuda, and Liberia, which allows them to avoid U.S. corporate taxes and do an end-run around domestic labor laws. Relatively few Americans actually work on the ships (in fact, there’s only one cruise ship in the world with an all-American crew). Instead, they tend to be staffed with crews from poorer countries such as the Philippines, who are willing to work long, grueling hours. One investigation by Univision and Columbia University’s journalism school referred to them as ‘sweatshops on the high seas.’ If one or more of these companies ended up in bankruptcy court and most of their assets got scooped up by a private equity firm, it wouldn’t exactly be a catastrophe for the domestic economy.”

Corporations that do not pay taxes in the United States should not be eligible to receive a bailout courtesy of American taxpayers. And the fact that Trump is lobbying for such a bailout on Arison’s behalf because of his personal ties to him is yet another reason why he is unfit for the office. Bailouts should be based on need and what that industry means for the nation at large. Cruise lines are not necessary for our economy to survive and neither is Trump’s friendship with Arison.

Featured image via screen capture

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