Question of the week: Do you believe the purchase of Smithfield Foods, Inc. necessitates CFIUS review and investigation to ensure the safety and security of America’s citizens?Posted by Randy | June 14, 2013
On May 29, 2013 Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited announced that they have entered into a merger agreement. Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion company and the world’s largest pork processor and pig producer, while Shuanghui International and its subsidiaries are the majority shareholders of China’s largest meat processing enterprise.
This $4.7 billion transaction, if approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, will be the largest to date of a U.S. corporation by a Chinese Enterprise.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency organization that oversees the national security implications of foreign investment in the U.S. economy. Under current law, CFIUS has 30 days to conduct a review, 45 days to conduct an investigation, and then the President has 15 days to make his ultimate determination of whether a deal threatens to impair the national security. The President is the only officer with the authority to suspend or prohibit mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers.
As the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese buyer, I formally requested a briefing from CFIUS regarding the potential impacts of this merger on national security, the economic market, and international trade, as well as the review and investigative process CFIUS would undertake in such a case.
Question of the week: Do you believe that this purchase necessitates CFIUS review and investigation to ensure the safety and security of America’s citizens, as well as the preservation of national economic interests, food safety, and environmental standards?
( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
Take the instaPoll here.
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here
Posted by Randy | May 31, 2013
This week, news reports surfaced indicating that designs of some of our military’s most advanced weapons systems were compromised by a sustained strategy of Chinese cyber espionage. More than two dozen major weapons systems, critical to U.S. regional missile defense for Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf, as well as combat aircraft and ships, were the targets of these attacks.
In January, the Defense Science Board warned that U.S. “security practices have not kept up with the cyber adversary tactics and capabilities.” While China has worked diligently to build a sophisticated military over the past decade, these breaches will only serve to accelerate the development of their growing capabilities.
These cyber intrusions follow reports of an attack last week that hackers from Iran infiltrated software that controls U.S. oil and gas pipelines. As one report noted, “The developments show that while Chinese hackers pose widespread intellectual-property-theft and espionage concerns, the Iranian assaults have emerged as far more worrisome because of their apparent hostile intent and potential for damage or sabotage.”
Question of the week: What should the response by the U.S. government be to these cyber attacks?
( ) Invest more in technology to counter these attacks
( ) Encourage more information sharing within industry and the government
( ) Increase penalties for hackers that steal intellectual property from U.S. companies
( ) Create a security clearance system for employees of private sector companies for cyber security threat sharing
( ) Increase penalties against those who cause or attempt to cause damage to a computer that powers critical infrastructure, such as energy and water and food supply systems
( ) Enact a federal data breach law
( ) I don’t know.
( ) Other (leave your comments below).
Take the instaPoll here.
Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | May 20, 2013
I wanted to share with you an article I wrote that was published by National Review, regarding China as a military competitor. We must acknowledge China’s military ambitions and their potential consequences for U.S. interests in the region. By assessing the intentions of the Chinese, the United States will be better prepared to evaluate our interests in Asia and act accordingly.
Time to Admit China Is a Military Competitor
By J. Randy Forbes
May 17, 2013 1:56 PM
Posted by Randy | November 30, 2012
Last the weekend, China’s Defense Ministry released video and pictures of a Chinese J-15 fighter jet taking off and landing from its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.
The news marks a significant milestone for China 14 years after it acquired the unfinished carrier from the Ukraine, 18 months after its first sea trials and two months after its commissioning into the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Though significant work lies ahead to make the Liaoning combat operational, the commencement of carrier-based, fixed-wing flight operations puts China in elite company, with only five other nations with these current capabilities – The U.S., Russia, France, India and Brazil.
This comes during a time of increasing concern among China’s neighbors in the Pacific, many of which remain embroiled in territorial disputes with China over the long-term regional intentions of the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party. This week, Congressman Forbes moderated an important discussion at the Foreign Policy Initiative entitled, “All Eyes on Asia: Perspectives From Our Allies” between representatives of several nations in the region on their security concerns and the re-rise of China.
Additionally, click here to read about Congressman Forbes’ work as Chairman and founder of the Congressional China Caucus, whose primary mission is to investigate and educate its members on the emergence of China’s global reach and the consequences of its growing international, economic, and political influence on U.S. interests.
Question of the week: Given China’s growing military capabilities, do you consider China….
( ) a partner of the United States
( ) friendly, but not a partner of the United States
( ) a competitor to the United States
( ) an adversary to the United States
( ) I don't know
( ) Other (Leave your comments below)
Take the poll here.
Find out the results of last week’s instapoll here.
Find out the results of my instapoll about the “Fiscal Cliff” here.
Days after DoD Fails to Release China Military Power Report, China Announces Military Spending to Top $100 BillionPosted by Randy | March 07, 2012
Just days after the Department of Defense failed to release its annual report to Congress on China’s military power, China announced that its military spending will top $100 billion for the first time. This a double-digit increase on last year's military spending, and comes “as China’s neighbors are increasingly unnerved by the country’s growing assertiveness in pressing territorial claims,” according to the Washington Post.
The news of this increase alone fuels concerns about China’s long-term intentions. Taken within the context of DoD military power report delay, it raises significant questions about our nation’s long-term strategy, or lack thereof, for responding in an era of Chinese military modernization. The DoD report is critical for the United States to be able to evaluate its own defense strategy in light of a dramatic military buildup by China in the Western Pacific. Each day without the report is another without a necessary tool to understand the Department of Defense’s perspective on China in light of this continued military buildup.
Read about the letter I sent to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, asking him to comply with the law and release the report on China’s military power: http://forbes.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=282971
Posted by Randy | February 23, 2012
According to a new forecast by the research group IHS Global Insight, China is set to double its defense spending between 2011 and 2015. This increase from $119.8 billion to $238.2 billion will exceed the combined spending of the next twelve largest defense budgets in the Asia-Pacific region, solidifying China's status as a regional superpower.
Question of the Week: Do you support the Administration's decision opposing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline?Posted by Randy | January 19, 2012
Yesterday, the Administration announced that it had rejected plans for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast Refineries. Although several environmental studies related to construction had been completed, the Administration continued to delay issuing a final decision on construction of the pipeline. As a result, Congress issued a requirement at the end of last year that the Administration issue a decision within 60 days of the President signing the payroll tax cut extension into law. The rejection has been applauded by organizations that had resisted construction of the pipeline due to environmental concerns, but has also been opposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations that point to the estimated 120,000 jobs and steps toward energy independence the pipeline would create. TransCanada, the corporation seeking the permit to construct the pipeline, must now find another recipient for its 830,000 barrels of oil a day it plans to export. In November, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated that China may be interested in procuring the North American energy.
Question of the Week: Do you support the Administration's decision opposing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline?
( ) Yes, I support the Administration's decision regarding construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
( ) No, I oppose the Administration's decision regarding construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
( ) Other (share your thoughts below)
( ) I am unsure.
Take the poll here.
Find the results of last week's instaPoll here.
Read Congressman Forbes' statement in regard to the Administration's decision here.
Posted by Randy | January 19, 2012
Posted by Randy | January 17, 2012
Posted by Randy | January 11, 2012
A new piece from The Diplomat titled “China’s 2012 Challenges” lays out twelve key challenges that the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party will face during the next year. These challenges range from the need for economic reforms, to social instability and expected friction in the South China Sea. It is vital that American policymakers know and understand these challenges while prioritizing U.S. foreign policy initiatives. Here are three of the twelve challenges identified in the piece:
The piece can be read in its entirety here: http://the-diplomat.com/china-power/2012/01/08/chinas-2012-challenges/
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