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John Mm-Mm-Ni-Hao: China Owns Your Wieners

John Morrell's workers in Sioux Falls will soon see their checks printed in Mandarin:

Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion in a deal that will take the world’s biggest pork producer private. Smithfield Foods is the parent company of John Morrell & Co., a major employer in Sioux Falls ["Smithfield CEO on sale to Chinese company: 'This is exporting America to the world'," AP via that Sioux Falls paper, 2013.05.29].

As good communists, the Chinese owners say they will not subject John Morrell's workers to any creative destruction:

Smithfield’s existing management team will remain in place and Shuanghui also will honor the collective bargaining agreements in place with Smithfield workers. The company has about 46,000 employees [AP, 2013.05.29].

And don't worry: this ownership change won't have you grilling Chinese pig anus. Rather, we'll be sharing good old American offal with the world:

"This transaction preserves the same old Smithfield, only with more opportunities and new markets and new frontiers," Smithfield CEO Larry Pope said in a conference call. "This is not a strategy to import Chinese pork into the United States … this is exporting America to the world" [AP, 2013.05.29].

In another note on how everything is connected, Smithfield and its new Chinese bosses face some price pressures. People are buying more hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and deli meats, but pork producers are having to pay more for corn as they compete with ethanol producers for feed.

One Comment

  1. Roger Elgersma 2013.05.30

    When we import the guts of Walmart and carry it home, then the Chinese get our money. Now they are spending it to balance the trade. So now instead of exporting our jobs, the Chinese are raising their pork here with illegal Mexican labor and on their own farms and packing plants, all located here. Well, we can stand and watch while we drive to Walmart. But the Chinese will have enough to eat.

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