WASHINGTON- In a letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) requested an investigation into the largest meat processor in the world: JBS S.A.
Rubio and Menendez stated that since JBS moved in the US market, it has engaged in “illicit financial activities including bribing Brazilian government officials” along with business relationships with Venezuela’s government run by Nicolas Maduro.
“Given its admitted criminal conduct to secure loans that were used for investment in the United States and the group’s business relationships with Venezuela’s Maduro regime, as well as its growing reliance on financing from entities aligned with the Chinese government, we ask that CFIUS conduct a review of JBS SA’s acquisition of US companies,” Rubio and Menendez said in the letter. “The growing trend of foreign investment in our food system demands increased attention and scrutiny in order to safeguard our nation’s food supply.”
JBS S.A. provided MEAT+POULTRY with the following statement about the letter:
“JBS S.A. is aware of the letter sent to Secretary Mnuchin. The company has fully cooperated with all relevant authorities in a transparent manner regarding past events in Brazil. The company will continue to cooperate and respond to any subsequent inquiries. “
Rubio and Menendez are requesting for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review JBS transactions. The senators stated in the letter that it has implications for US national security and security of the American food system.
The letter by the senators said CFIUS should investigate deals JBS made with J&F lnvestimentos, which was owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and several Brazilian pension funds.
Rubio and Menendez also want the Treasury to look at business trades with Venezuelan Corporation of Foreign Trade (CORPOVEX) and Maduro ally Diosdado Cabello who is under US sanctions.