AWB, the Australian wheat company found to have paid nearly $300 million in bribes to Saddam Hussein's regime, will likely face
"While I understand that the Government of Australia intends to pursue criminal proceedings in this case, I have directed that USDA resume the debarment process," Johanns says.
An Australian panel, lead by former Supreme Court Justice Terence Cole, found that AWB paid Saddam Hussein's government $290 in bribes and kickbacks while both the Iraqi government and AWB used the U.N. oil-for-food program for their own profit between 1999 and 2003.
AWB agreed not to participate in the USDA credit export program in November 2005 during the Government of Australia's investigation.
"We view the monopoly as a source of this problem, of the culture that developed at AWB that led to these illegal actions," USWA president Alan Tracy says.