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Up bipartisan backlash.
Lawmakers on both sides of the -- voicing.
Discomfort over the proposed sale of Smithfield Foods to China's -- long -- international.
And leading the charge the chairman of the senate committee on agriculture nutrition and forestry.
Debbie Stabenow -- and she joins us now from Capitol Hill I -- -- got that Stabenow right senator thank you so much for being with us.
Now this is one of the first times ever I've heard of the other white meat pork.
Kind of characterized as -- an issue of national security can you please explain that to us what.
First felt good afternoon it's great to be with you and I think the issue is -- global economy when we have certain strategic assets.
That creates strength our economy and for our security.
How are we going to address that was food security certainly -- national security we don't go to war over.
Lack of food like other countries do we have the safest most affordable food supply in the world.
And the question is now is trying as strategically looking at buying assets that are buying various technologies.
Going and strategically to -- Pieces of our food system.
How do we address that -- -- a bipartisan basis fifteen members of the senate.
To have the review that treasury guys look include the FDA -- FDA so we're looking in a Smart way how we proceed.
In this -- -- this looks like.
At a good idea for the industry where heavily export dependent but the question that I have -- Why can't we just export to them certainly China wouldn't let -- by strong way Smithfield would not be allowed to do that.
But in the long run.
Our largest export market is Japan what happens we -- the technology.
All of the public investments we've made and are indeed -- China they turn around they take on markets so I'm concerned about the implications long term for us right.
Now -- seems to be that China.
We must export for more stuff that China than we did it to Japan I -- -- is a far larger market but one thing I don't understand senator Stabenow is that.
You know when the Belgian firm -- band came in to buy Anheuser-Busch.
And then now there may be InBev.
I don't remember anyone raising issues of national security.
Is this really basically a fig -- for being anti Japanese -- were terrified up because they're beating us competitively they're buying up our treasury bonds and if they don't -- -- Or even weaker as an economy.
Well actually no actually this senator from -- at the time raised a lot of concerns about that particular.
DL but I would say once we're getting into the basics of -- And other parts of the food supply as we go forward in -- global economy this is.
Very legitimate to raise the issues of where we will draw the lines in terms of how we're operating.
With other countries yes reality is that China is a big market -- I asked to CEO why don't just -- -- them where.
Export dependent in the pork industry our biggest trade surplus is agriculture.
It's a strength for -- that's just -- -- -- I think that's terrific are -- -- what are the implications of them coming -- and buying.
Twenty years of that technology know how -- efforts that our industry is put together working with the public sector.
Come on senator we -- talking slaughtering hogs.
Talking kind of Cisco routers that are used it in the Internet to -- to route you know sensitive data we're just talking up but job pigs and a bunch out pork I just I think if anything what is your fear.
That China's unsafe food practices will be adopted by American workers here because wouldn't it instead be that that safe food practices and America.
We'll now be shipped over to China and help that population.
-- Hopefully that's the case hopefully they are -- and I think eventually they will adopt our practice is one of the questions I asked the CEL.
Is in terms of their brand because Chong -- has had a very spotty.
Food safety record.
What happens if they are allowing that -- go to China right now before the standards are -- an -- but let me talk to the broader issue.
I mean we can make fun and say this is just about port.
But what if it's dairy what if it's -- what if it's fruits and vegetables and and all of them all of the food industry got one real slippery slope says.
Well at what point does the fact that another country owns our food technology and food supply.
Become and national security issue I don't know I think it's a question worth asking and were asking the question.
A -- last quick thing senator.
You guys say in your letter that we have not reached a conclusion on this.
But doesn't the very fact that you're asking for the FDA get involved Agriculture Department as well as justice etc.
doesn't that mean that you guys have reached a conclusion -- -- you're against this deal.
Absolutely -- against the deal I'd be on the show today tell you I'm against the deal I have no problem saying that but I do think.
That if we only look company by company if were only looking every quarter electric company has to do.
And were not doing our job as public officials which is a much broader view of what -- is in the economic.
And strategic interest.
Of -- China looks OK in hundreds and thousands of runners of course.
Did you -- -- -- limited and high upside as a shareholder and some companies if you stop a nice buyer with deep pocket from coming at.
But thank you so much for being with us today senator Stabenow -- date.
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