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View Diary: We've become China's farm team (115 comments)

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  •  Sen. Mikulski's response (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, FoundingFatherDAR

    Back when Smithfield was in negotiations to be purchased, I contacted my Senators and got a response back from Mikulski a while back (rarely hear from Cardin..). It's been a while since I wrote the letter, but I'm pretty sure I focused on the environmental and food quality that could result from the deal. Didn't bring up Chinese ownership of American resources explicitly.

    Her response below (bolding mine):

    Thank you for contacting me about the merger between Smithfield Foods Inc. and Shuanghui International.  It's good to hear from you.

    Like you, I am very concerned about the safety of our food. One of my priorities is to make sure that families and children are protected from unsafe food.  I appreciate hearing your concerns about this proposed merger and its possible effect on food safety, consumer choice and national security.

    The Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States is reviewing the sale to ensure that there are no national security risks that would result from foreign ownership of this U.S. company.

    The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the proposed sale and the effects of foreign ownership on the U.S. food supply.  Also, a bipartisan group of Senators from the Agriculture Committee has written to Treasury to make sure that experts in food safety and the food supply are consulted in the review process.

    I agree that any business transaction of this size and scope deserves careful review. I have heard from a number of Marylanders about the impact of this proposed sale.  In response, I have contacted the Department of Treasury to inform them of your views and have asked that they address this as soon as possible.  You may also be interested in voicing these concerns directly:

    Department of the Treasury
    1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20220

    I will continue to fight for the resources necessary for our agencies to regulate the nation's food supply.  Knowing of your thoughts on these issues will be helpful to me as the Senate continues to work on agricultural and food safety policies.

    Thanks again for getting in touch with me.  Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Barbara A. Mikulski
    United States Senator

    •  This is what I got back from Senator Dick Durbin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FoundingFatherDAR

      of Illinois (D)

      Thank you for contacting me about the proposed purchase of Smithfield Foods by the Chinese group Shuanghui International. I appreciate hearing from you.

      On May 29, 2013, the board of Smithfield Foods unanimously backed a takeover bid from Chinese group Shuanghui International. This acquisition would be worth an estimated $7.1 billion and would secure Shuanghui International as the controlling body for Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer.

       Shuanghui’s proposed purchase is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment, an inter-agency committee of the United States government that reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies or operations. Although members of Congress have no say in the Committee’s proceedings, I will keep your thoughts in mind as I monitor this situation.

      Foreign investments in this country can be beneficial. Trade, when conducted sensibly and fairly, is good for America. At the same time, we should take a very close look at any proposed deal in which a foreign company would take over important responsibilities related to America’s infrastructure, including food.

      Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to keep in touch.

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