Smithfield CEO testifies before US Senate on Chinese deal
Smithfield’s CEO, C Larry Pope, testified yesterday before the United States Senate with the aim of reaffirming the benefits of the proposed Shuanghui-Smithfield transaction for US farmers and agriculture.
The recurring theme at the hearing was the issue of the international flow of pork and if the deal with China would displace the US pork export market.
Pope had prepared a 7 page statement for the committee which had one word underlined ‘exporting’.
Extract from statement: “This transaction is about exporting high-quality meat products from the U.S. to China to meet the growing global demand for pork and increase global food safety standards."
Still the committee members continued to question Pope on the issue. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, asked Pope directly, is "Chinese pork export to the U.S. possible?"
Pope’s reply was “this is all about exports (to China)….. not about imports".
Pope also said how he has a huge emotional investment in the company "I'm going to have a hand in the future on the way this company continues to operate. I understand we'll be held accountable."
Witnesses were heard from both sides of the arguement on whether or not approval of the Smithfield-Shuanghui deal should be given.
Pope also said the Smithfield had “no objection” to the Department of Agriculture being included on a list of federal agencies reviewing the proposed acquisition by Shuanghui International.
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