Ag Policy Blog

Rubio, Menendez Seek Probe of JBS

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Senators have asked for an investigation into JBS over corruption allegationsin in South America. (DTN file photo)

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., have written to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) review transactions made by Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS, which “engaged in illicit financial activities, including bribing Brazilian government officials and the business relationships with Venezuela’s illegitimate Maduro regime,” Bloomberg reported.

CFIUS has representatives from several federal agencies and department heads to investigate security concerns of business transactions. After both the Smithfield Foods purchase by a Chinese company, and ChemChina's purchase of Syngenta, at least some members of Congress called for the Agriculture Secretary to be added to CFIUS, but that has not occurred. The Congressional Research Service released a primer on CFIUS in August.…

The Organization for Competitive Markets, a group often critical of agribusiness, said in a release, “The corrupt actions of JBS demonstrate the epitome of unchecked monopoly power. JBS should be stripped of all its U.S. assets. No one should profit from illegal activity. We thank Senators Rubio and Menendez for their courageous action in taking on the largest meatpacker in the world.”

JBS has bought Pilgrim's Pride and Swift Food Co. in the U.S. Yet the brothers that own JBS in Brazil have admitted to bribing Brazilian officials.

Bloomberg noted JBS has been a beneficiary of African swine fever in China and the company's stocks have increased 154% this year. JBS stock dipped on news of the senators' request.

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport



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