"You'll find that we'll be at the Senate hearing, and we'll probably submit questions to the committee," he added.
Pope is not the only person scheduled to testify before the Senate hearing, which will start at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Rounding out the witness list are Matthew J. Slaughter, director of Dartmouth College's Center for Global Business and Government; Usha Haley, director of West Virginia University's Robbins Center for Global Business and Strategy, and Daniel M. Slane, a congressional appointee to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
All three have weighed in on the Smithfield-Shuanghui deal in various forums; Slaughter could be described as supportive, but Slane and Haley are fierce opponents.
In a Monday interview with the Daily Press, Slane said China's experience as a buyer of coal and iron ore has made the country and its businesses more strategic about controlling key commodities.
"They decided it's better to own the mine" than buy the coal on the open market, he said. Following that logic, he added, Chinese executives think it's better to own Smithfield than to import its hogs.
"They can control the price of hogs to some extent by buying Smithfield," the world's largest hog farmer, he continued.
"And they're going to use Smithfield's technology -- hog genetics and manure handling (for example) -- to our detriment," said Slane, who co-owns an Ohio company involved in commercial real estate, as well as production of synthetic coal.
By increasing the efficiency of unsophisticated Chinese hog farm operations, Slane said, "they'll export less pork, and even import pork to the U.S. under the Smithfield brand.
Slaughter has taken a different view of the potential acquisition.
"Inbound foreign investment has long benefited the U.S. economy, and a smooth Smithfield purchase would send a valuable signal to China and to the world that the United States welcomes such investment," wrote Slaughter in a piece co-written with a colleague and published on Dartmouth's website two weeks ago.
Should it win approval, he continued, "the acquisition of Smithfield can serve as an example of a large U.S. company being acquired by a Chinese entity without controversy."
Haley, however, warned that Shuanghui's investment, though lucrative for shareholders, could come with costs for "U.S. consumers and society."
She said Shuanghui has a culture that has seemed to foster food safety violations, noting in an op-ed piece published in USA Today that in 2011, the company "gave its pigs a growth-enhancing drug banned in the U.S.A. and the European Union."
And she argued that the CFIUS should follow the lead of countries that have walled themselves off to Chinese investment in agriculture: "Brazil and New Zealand have blocked China's domination of agriculture, and we should do the same," he wrote.
The hearing will be streamed online at ag.senate.gov.
(c)2013 Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
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