Debbie Stabenow is a bit sensitive about pandering to the Chinese. As we reported in WiC138, her Republican opponent in her Senate re-election campaign ran a controversial TV ad tarring her as a Beijing ally. Aired during the Superbowl, it featured a Chinese girl in a paddyfield saying: “Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow. Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy gets very weak. Ours gets very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow.”
So perhaps it is no surprise that Stabenow wants to talk tough when it comes to China. That’s had ramifications for Shuanghui, which is in the midst of purchasing US pork giant Smithfield. Stabenow chairs the Senate’s powerful agriculture committee and in hearings last week sounded anything but enthusiastic about the deal. She has even deemed the takeover a national security issue, calling for a “Cfius” review. During the hearing she said: “Smithfield might be the first acquisition of a major food and agricultural company but I doubt it will be the last. Could this sale happen if it were the other way around? Based on what we’ve heard, it sounds like the answer is ‘no’.” The Chinese definitely won’t be thanking “Debbie Spenditnow” this time around.
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