Alternet - President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao as his transportation secretary. Chao served as secretary of labor, from 2001 to 2009, under President George W. Bush. She's also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The appointment of Chao to this position is striking for at least one major reason: her family owns a major international shipping company. Chao's father, Dr. James Chao, is the chairman of The Foremost Group which he founded in 1964. Elaine Chao's sister Angela, is currently the deputy chairman of the company. Chao's father began donating to McConnell in the eighties. In 2008 he gave Chao and McConnell between $5 million and $25 million, giving a huge boost to McConnell's personal worth.
The firm..leaves a faint online trace. Foremost’s website FMCNY.com is blank. Records and court documents obtained by The Nation show that the ownership of the company’s vessels—with names such as Ping May, Soya May, Fu May and Grain May—is obscured through a byzantine structure of tax entities.
A 2014 report from the Louisville Courant revealed that Chao registers his ships in Liberia to avoid paying taxes in the United States.
One of the agencies under control of the Transportation Department is the United States Maritime Administration.