Tester Leads Bipartisan Effort to Block Largest Meatpacking Corporation from Stock Exchange, Citing ‘systemic corruption’
Senator has repeatedly taken on large, multi-national meatpacking corporations including JBS over anticompetitive practices in the meat processing industry
U.S. Senator Jon Tester led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressing the agency to block JBS’s request to be a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), citing the multi-national corporation’s history of “systemic corruption.” Tester has repeatedly worked to hold JBS and the four big meat packers who control more than 80% of the beef industry accountable for their anticompetitive practices.
“While Montana ranchers work tirelessly to produce the best beef in the world, massive multi-national corporations like JBS undercut their efforts by engaging in anticompetitive practices and price gouging consumers,” said Tester. “I have serious concerns about the risks JBS would pose U.S. investors as a publicly traded company given their track record of corruption, and I’ll continue to lead the charge in Congress to hold the big meatpackers accountable and break up their unfair consolidation of the industry.”
In their letter to the SEC, Tester and a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues wrote that they “urge the SEC protect the integrity of U.S. capital markets and the legal rights of U.S. investors by exposing the risks that JBS poses to potential shareholders, including its track record of corruption, human rights abuses, as well as environmental risks.” The Senators concluded their letter by emphasizing that, “Approval of JBS’ proposed listing would subject U.S. investors to risk from a company with a history of blatant, systemic corruption.”
As the Senate’s only working farmer, Tester has led the charge to support Montana ranchers and increase competition for American family farms and ranches. Early last year Tester re-introduced his bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act to increase market transparency by establishing minimums for negotiated sales and requiring clear reporting of marketing contracts, and his Meatpacking Special Investigator Act to combat anticompetitive practices in the meat processing industry by appointing a USDA special investigator with subpoena power to enforce the nation’s anti-trust laws. Last January, Tester introduced his bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act to reinstate mandatory country of original labeling (MCOOL) for beef.
In February of 2023, Tester introduced bipartisan legislation to suspend Brazilian beef imports to the U.S. until experts can conduct a systemic review of the commodity’s impact on food safety and animal health. Tester has repeatedly pressed USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on suspending Brazilian beef imports to the U.S. and addressing consolidation in the ag industry, citing that JBS – one of the four big packers controlling more than 80% of the beef industry – is based in Brazil. Tester has also introduced bipartisan legislation and is leading a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse the Biden Administration’s recent decision to lift a long-standing ban on Paraguayan beef imports.
You can read Tester’s full letter to the SEC HERE.