Senator Chuck Grassley is praising the Justice Department and Iowa’s attorney general for trying to block a Brazilian company’s bid to become the largest meatpacker in America. Brazilian-based J-B-S wants to buy a Kansas City-based meatpacker, but Grassley, a Republican, joins with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, in saying the deal would be bad for Iowa livestock producers.
"Hopefully there’s a new attitude in the Justice Department towards mergers generally, but specifically towards agriculture mergers," Grassley says. Grassley sent a letter to the Justice Department earlier this year, objecting to the Brazilian company’s bid to buy not just National Beef Processors, but other U.S. meatpackers, too.
"Very seldom do I get positive responses from the Justice Department on these things because I think they don’t see the lack of competition in the same vein that I do," Grassley says. "You could have one packer controlling close to 40 percent of the slaughter in the United States and I think that that’s wrong." Attorney General Tom Miller says cattle prices would dip if the deal goes through because there’d be less competition in selling cattle for slaughter.