Many Americans are concerned over the amount of illegal immigrants that are flooding into the United States each year. Most of these are poor people in dire straits seeking to etch out a living doing menial labor wherever they can, much like our forefathers when they arrived to these shores. However, this isn’t nearly as threatening as foreigners buying up large U.S. companies and prime farmland.
It seems bad enough that most U.S. manufacturing and customer service jobs are being moved to other countries offering cheaper labor. If you want to get hired for one of those jobs you will have to move to Bangladesh, India, or some other third world country. Still, that trend isn’t as bad as selling off U.S. companies to wealthy foreigners. Soon you won’t have to leave the country to work for a boss from China, Europe, or India. You can do that right here at home.
Depending on the countrymen buying the businesses, this can be good or bad. Most people won’t dislike the German four-day workweek concept. The standard ethics of a Japanese led company allows an employee to feel enhanced team integrity. The hardworking and fair play attitude of a Portuguese run company gives employees a sense of pride, while a company owned by a citizen from the Netherlands usually leaves plenty of room for innovative thinkers to be as creative as possible.
On the other hand, most people in the Tampa Bay area will not soon forget the lack of ethics displayed by the owner and CEO of Universal Health Care, Akshay Desai, and his elite team from India, who are accused by the federal government of embezzling $72 million from taxpayers meant to be used for elderly Medicare members with health conditions. Nor will they forget the CEO’s blatant irresponsible actions of trying to auction off a dying company while pretending everything was wonderful up to Universal’s forced closure by the feds, when just one week before, he told his staff, “The Company is in good financial condition. Those of you thinking about buying a new car, now is the time to do it!”
This isn’t much different from the Chinese owner and President of Global Stone Company in St. Petersburg, Lisa Maddux, who lost her business by swapping quality European natural stone products with cheap inferior Chinese-manufactured products to cheat her U.S. construction customers. Known by her employees as the “Dragon Lady,” she led her American staff members with an iron fist by forcing them to attend mandatory Monday meetings so she could lie about the financial conditions of the company, and directed her managers to stop any talking or laughing by company personnel. If the office wasn’t silent, she would demand to know, “Why are they laughing? Employees are supposed to be working, not having fun.” Unfortunately, to be fair you would have to ask, “What other attitude can this type of business person have, when her work ethics come from a country that employees men, women, and children for pennies a day, seven days a week, to work barefoot without any safety equipment in dangerous stone quarries with run down equipment?”
Construction materials and insurance companies are just a few types of businesses being affected by these kinds of unethical business standards coming from third world countries. Much more frightening indeed, are quality issues that can affect the majority of the U.S. populace. This can be demonstrated right now with the current deal on the table between Shuanghui International and Smithfield Foods.
Smithfield Foods owns most of the hogs in the United States and supplies a third of the pork to U.S. consumers. Shuanghui International is the largest pork company in China and has made an offer to purchase Smithfield Foods for $5 billion. Some people are worried this will cause a national security risk; others believe Americans will end up paying much more to buy their pork; many are concerned about the disadvantage this could pose to local farmers; but most people are afraid of the health hazards this could cause.
Up until now, citizens mainly from Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany have bought foreign-owned U.S. agricultural land. If Shuanghui International gets its way, this will be the largest U.S. company purchase in history. Because of the well-known quality issues from Chinese food products being sent to the United States, this has become a cause for alarm by many concerned citizens.
If this seems a bit harsh or paranoid, one only has to remember the horrible results of the tainted cat and dog food produced by China and sold by U.S. companies that killed thousands of beloved pets in America during 2007. This occurred when the Chinese sprayed melamine in an attempt to destroy bothersome rats in the wheat fields, which is a chemical that kills much like cyamanide by poisoning the liver.
It is a fact that Chinese quality is not only poor in household products, in many respects it is dangerous. Mattel and other toy companies found this out when massive recalls of toys painted with toxic lead-based colors hit the U.S. market in August of 2007. Of course, the business of pushing poor quality to make a fast buck in the food industry is much scarier. This can be seen in the Chinese fish sold in the United States, which is famous for growing up in a combination of feces-filled swill and antibiotics, leaving a notable disgusting taste to the palate. Plus, there are many more examples of this such as, the September 2011 scandal of pesticide-contaminated greens, the May 2012 formaldehyde-tainted cabbages, the June 2012 dairy products tainted with Alkaline water, and the May 2013 findings of Chinese rice tainted with Cadmium, just to name a few.
To be fair, none of these reports of food contamination had anything to do with Shuanghui International. It has created its own legacy of placing profit before the welfare of consumers by lacing its pig feed with huge amounts of clenbuterol, which is a veterinarian drug that has been banned for being an extreme health hazard to humans. When caught in the act, they apologized and closed the factory, although now they have proven were their priorities lie. Who in their right mind will believe it won‘t turn back into business as usual after the deal with Smithfield Foods is completed?
More U.S. citizens are reading labels to avoid foods imported from China due to their poor quality standards and the constant contamination of their human and animal food products. No one wants their family or pets to be put in harm’s way by being tricked by a “Made in USA” label that makes them believe a particular food product contains American quality. With the lack of surveillance from the FDA due to the sequester, which is getting worse because of government cuts this year, it is naïve to believe that anyone will be protecting the consumer from possible toxins, pharmaceutical drugs, and contamination produced by Chinese-owned and run food operations on American soil.
If Shuanghui International manages to buy out Smithfield Foods, it will be a sad day for pork-loving Americans, especially those who are unaware of this business deal. As for those who are aware, the next time someone asks, “Where’s the bacon?” They will simply reply, “Not on my plate.”