AGRIBUSINESS: Treasury Department Gives Smithfield Deal Green-Light

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On Friday, the Department of the Treasury greenlit Shuanghui International Holdings' purchase of Smithfield Foods.

Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, Marisa Lago, says the Treasury Department only examined national security effects of such transactions. She says broader economic or policy concerns were unaddressed, and that the committee responsible applies the same rules to all transactions it reviews, regardless of the investors' nationality or which part of the economy the investment affects.

That approach drew criticism from Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, who questioned a definition of national security that seems to exclude economic security.

Also a critic: National Farmers Union persident Roger Johnson, who claims the deal would set a dangerous precedent for food security and competition in the market.

Shareholder approval is necessary for the deal to move forward: that vote is scheduled for the 24th of this month.