August 3, 2018

Trump turns his back on corporate crimes

Corporate Presidency

In the “tough on crime” story President Donald Trump likes to tell about himself, he’s a “law and order” tough guy fighting to save “the forgotten men and women” from the scourge of “American carnage.”

But even as the Trump administration ramps up “zero-tolerance” policies against street crimes and immigration, it has gone soft on enforcement policies that protect Americans from lawbreaking corporations.

“Corporate Impunity,” a new Public Citizen report, finds that in 11 of 12 agencies led by a Trump administration official for most of 2017, total monetary penalties imposed on corporate violators plummeted.

At the Department of Justice (DOJ), penalties against corporate offenders plunged by 90 percent.

At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all civil penalties plunged more than 94 percent.

Similarly, in 10 out of the 12 agencies Public Citizen analyzed, the number of enforcement actions against corporate violators declined – in many cases quite dramatically. At the Transportation Department’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, the total number of enforcement actions brought against corporate wrongdoers declined by a third or more.

The only one of these agencies at which penalties increased was the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for blocking corporations from doing business with sanctioned countries, businesses and individuals.

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