House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced he’s forming a Republican “China Task Force,” citing Chinese ownership of Smithfield Foods as part of the reason behind the move.
The Hagstrom Report says McCarthy found it interesting that “China owns a processing plant in South Dakota” and wondered if that could be a challenge for the U.S. food supply. McCarthy says the task force will include representatives from 10 congressional committees and will look deeper into the U.S.-China relationship. There were Democrats included in the original formation, but they dropped out, which McCarthy criticized them for.
The task force recommendations could influence the agricultural trade relationship between the two countries because trade is typically more robust when the relations with China are solid. The Hagstrom Report quotes a senior Democratic aide who says those on that side of the political fence are “very cognizant of the need to hold China accountable for its actions.”
However, the aide says, “To that extent, this is going to be the Trump Administration’s scapegoat for its utter failure, we are not going to go along with any of that.”