The trade disagreement with China has made for some interesting discussions in the past few weeks. One of those discussions was which ag producers would be eligible for trade mitigation assistance from the Trump Administration. This has provided for a sharp discussion between Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and Smithfield Foods.
Senator Grassley made comments on Twitter, last week, on whether or not Smithfield Foods should be allowed access to trade assistance being they are a Chinese-owned company. Smithfield responded with an op-ed in the Des Moines Register, stating Grassley’s comments were inaccurate. Today, Senator Grassley responded to Smithfield.
Grassley says his tweet was centered around Smithfield’s eligibility for assistance. He reminded Ag media about statements made in 2013 when then-CEO Larry Pope said selling Smithfield to the Chinese would benefit U.S. hog producers.
Grassley says the 2013 move made by Smithfield’s owners is precisely the type of business practices President Trump is trying to end. Grassley says we should not have to sell to China, to do business with China.