More than a few people were unhappy when they first heard that Smithfield Foods, which has been owned by a Chinese company since 2013, would be benefiting from the farm bailout package that President Donald Trump put together — the one that was geared toward easing U.S. farmers’ burdens after massive retaliatory tariffs were put in place by none other than China.
There was specific outcry against any money going to Smithfield because of their Chinese ownership (Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has been one of the most outspoken critics), and now the company and the USDA have taken steps to fix that. The $240,000 purchase contract that the U.S. had with Smithfield has been terminated.
Smithfield, which was founded in Virgina and still has its U.S. headquarters there, is the world’s largest pork producer. It has thousands of U.S. employees, which is why it was deemed eligible for government money in the first place.
The money from the contract, which was part of the much larger $12 billion aid package pushed forward in July, has not yet been reallocated.