CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact from an ongoing trade war.

As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26% of the $300 million the USDA has allocated to pork so far — more than any other company, according to an analysis of bid awards by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

The USDA's Trade Mitigation Program was announced last August, and included direct payments to farmers, as well as $1.2 billion in food purchases from farmers and ranchers whose crops normally benefit from international markets. The plan called for $558 million worth of pork purchases. The program is intended to help U.S. farmers and ranchers hurt by the ongoing trade disputes with China, Mexico, Canada and other trading partners.

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The nonprofit news outlet Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting provided this article to The Associated Press through a collaboration with Institute for Nonprofit News.

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