The U.S. government is conducting another review of the takeover of Smithfield Foods by China’s largest meat producer. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States plans to do an additional 45-day investigation.
Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen says the purchase should be rejected because it’s terrible economic policy, awful fiscal policy and not in our national interest. He says there are also major livestock concentration problems with the deal.
Hansen says, “When we allow a foreign country like China to buy a food company like Smithfield, of that size, they have 15% of all the hogs that are produced in America and they process 26% of all the hogs in our country.”
In addition, if the purchase is allowed to go forward, Hansen says a lot of private and sensitive business information will be handed over to a foreign power.
“All of that food security detail information, it doesn’t just go to the company, it goes to the Chinese government,” Hansen says. “In their system, those companies are linked with the government.”
Hansen says the purchase is also anti-competitive as it pits all other U.S. hog processors against the whole country of China, which has large access to capital, favorable regulatory treatment and an uneven playing field.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton