Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross‘s personal stock in foreign-owned companies is under scrutiny as the latest ethics filings still do not show divestment a spokesman had earlier claimed.
Of the 27 filings Ross has sent to the Office of Government Ethics since his confirmation, none show that he has unburdened his stock from Chinese company Diamond S Shipping, according to HuffPost. Commerce spokesman James Rockas said in November that Ross had “fully divested” his Diamond S Shipping stake.
A Center for Public Integrity reportfirst raised questions as to whether Ross was actively involved in the shipping company — in which Ross said he would retain a “passive” stake.
The Commerce Department spokesman told HuffPost that the filings for Diamond S Shipping would be released in “due time.”
Rockas said the divestments did not show up in the filings because the investments in both companies had been transferred to an irrevocable trust for protection while he serves in office, but would not say who the trust’s beneficiaries were, apart from saying it did not benefit his wife.
The Office of Government Ethics requires government officials to publicly disclose such trusts that benefit family members in their confirmation process.
Ross was a strong supporter of President Trump‘s recent imposition of trade tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, and will oversee the implementation of nearly $60 billion in new tariffs against China.
BY JOSH DELK – 03/23/18