Chinese companies spent $6.5 billion to purchase U.S. companies in 2012, which broke the previous record of $5.2 billion in 2010. It appears the Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies could exceed $10 billion in 2013.
In May 2013, Shuanghui International agreed to purchase Smithfield Foods. Smithfield is the world’s largest hog producer with 460 farms and contracts with 2,100 others across the U.S. Will the hog supply be diverted from the U.S. to feed China’s burgeoning population? Will China’s poor food safety record and the manufacture of low quality products impact Smithfield’s operations? Hopefully, Midwestern states will be able to block the sale with laws that prohibit foreign ownership of farmland.
A Chinese consortium purchased International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), which owns and leases over 1,000 aircraft and has relationships with many airlines. In 2012 Chinese companies purchased AMC Entertainment, one of the largest movie theater chains in the U.S.
The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment should deny Chinese acquisitions if they impact our national security or our country’s economic well-being.
Donald A. Moskowitz