In late 2013 a Chinese company purchased the American pork-processing giant Smithfield Foods for $4.7 billion. The announcement of the deal sparked political backlash in the United States. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, declared that “food security is national security.” She noted that she could not “imagine that the American people will feel comfortable if they wake up one day to discover that half of our food processors are owned by China.” She called a special hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee to look more closely into the Smithfield Foods deal. During that hearing, many Senators voiced concern about how the Chinese acquisition might influence the safety of the American food supply moving forward, while others expressed concern about the long-run implications of the U.S. becoming dependent upon Chinese producers for its food. While the committee lacked the authority to block the deal, the hearing revealed that Chinese acquisitions of American businesses remained a politically sensitive issue.