Trump blocks Chinese acquisition of US semiconductor firm
 
, Posted on 14-Sep-2017


Trump blocks Chinese acquisition of US semiconductor firm

Washington : President Donald Trump on Wednesday blocked attempts by a Chinese state-owned firm to acquire an American semiconductor manufacturer on national security concerns, drawing a rebuke from Beijing.

The acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, a publicly-traded Oregon company, by Chinese-owned Canyon Bridge Fund could endanger the US government's use of sensitive products the company produces, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive stance towards China on trade and national security matters, launching wide-ranging investigations into the national security ramifications of Beijing's trade in aluminum and steel.

Trump has the authority to block foreign investments he deems national security threats through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, an interagency committee.

In the case of Lattice, CFIUS and the president decided "the transaction poses a risk to the national security of the United States that cannot be resolved through mitigation," the Treasury said in a statement.

The decision prohibited Canyon Bridge, its partner Yitai Capital and Yitai's parent, the China Venture Capital Fund Corp (CVCF), from purchasing the US firm, which serves the consumer, communications and industrial markets.

The Treasury said the deal posed a national security risk due to Beijing's support for the transaction, the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign investors, and the importance of the semiconductor supply to the US government, including Lattice's products.

China's Ministry of Commerce expressed "concern" over the decision Thursday.

Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular press briefing that while each country has a right to probe investments in "sensitive fields", the power should not be used as "an instrument for implementing protectionism."

China "hopes relevant countries can treat Chinese companies' overseas acquisitions objectively and impartially, give fair treatment to such normal business practices, and create a reasonable and transparent business environment to avoid impacting investors' confidence," he said, according to a transcript of the remarks on the ministry's website.

Lattice manufactures programmable logic devices, which are semiconductors that can be programmed to provide functions similar to chips, the statement said.

Trump personally intervened in the process after the companies appealed to him directly to overrule the CFIUS ruling, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had also intervened to prevent a similar deal involving semiconductors on security concerns last year.

Chinese government-backed Grand Chip Investment scrapped plans to buy German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron in December after Washington rejected the inclusion of Aixtron's US unit over fears it could put sensitive technology with potential military applications in Chinese hands.

"It is important to note that the US government has been particularly concerned with foreign investment, particularly Chinese investment, into the US semiconductor industry for years," said Lawrence Ward, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in global business focusing on US national security law.

"It is likely premature to think that the Trump administration is taking a hawkish approach to Chinese investment across all industry sectors but, of course, only time will tell," Ward said.

AFP


Related News

Saudi to create $2.7 bn entertainment investment firm
Sep 20

Saudi to create $2.7 bn entertainment investment firm

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is set to create a $2.7 billion entertainment investment company, state media said Wednesday, as the kingdom opens up avenues for leisure. The country seeks to increase domestic spending on entertainment and launch hundreds of recreation centres across the kingdom as part...

Read More
Two more arrests in Wales over London Underground bombing
Sep 20

Two more arrests in Wales over London Underground bombing

London : Two men were arrested on Wednesday over last week's London Underground terror attack in which 30 people were injured, bringing the total number of people in custody to five, police said. The men, aged 48 and 30, were arrested under anti-terrorism legislation in Newport in Wales, police said in a...

Read More
Bangladesh PM says Myanmar must take back Rohingya
Sep 20

Bangladesh PM says Myanmar must take back Rohingya

Dhaka : Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has issued a new call for Myanmar to take back the some 420,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in the Buddhist-dominated country. Hasina, speaking to Bangladeshi activists in New York where she is attending the UN General Assembly, also called for...

Read More
King Salman allocates $15 million for Rohingya refugees
Sep 20

King Salman allocates $15 million for Rohingya refugees

Washington : Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and General Supervisor of Riyadh-based King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah has announced the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to allocate 15 Million for...

Read More
Bangladesh army takes bigger role in Rohingya aid operation
Sep 20

Bangladesh army takes bigger role in Rohingya aid operation

Dhaka : Bangladesh's army was Wednesday ordered to take a bigger role in helping hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled ethnic violence in Myanmar, by distributing relief aid and building shelters. Troops would be deployed immediately in Cox's Bazar near the border where more than 420,000 Rohingya have...

Read More
Plane stuck in mud as rain causes Mumbai airport chaos
Sep 20

Plane stuck in mud as rain causes Mumbai airport chaos

Mumbai : Dozens of flights were diverted from Mumbai after a SpiceJet plane overshot the runway and became stuck in the mud as heavy rain lashed India's financial capital and caused travel chaos Wednesday. Schools and colleges also closed for the day as a precaution after severe monsoon rain late...

Read More
Sri Lanka general says denied visa to attend UN
Sep 20

Sri Lanka general says denied visa to attend UN

Colombo : Sri Lanka's ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka Tuesday said he had been denied a visa to attend the UN general assembly because of unresolved war crime allegations against the military. The war-time general, who is now minister of regional...

Read More
Maria lashes US Virgin Islands as Puerto Rico prepares for impact
Sep 20

Maria lashes US Virgin Islands as Puerto Rico prepares for impact

St John Island : Hurricane Maria slammed into the US Virgin Islands Tuesday, lashing the archipelago with rain as Puerto Rico braced for the Category Five storm's expected landfall on Wednesday. On St John Island, which was also battered by Hurricane Irma two weeks...

Read More
21 schoolchildren among nearly 250 dead in powerful Mexico quake
Sep 20

21 schoolchildren among nearly 250 dead in powerful Mexico quake

Mexico City : At least 248 people were killed when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, including 21 children crushed beneath an elementary school that was reduced to rubble. The destruction revived horrific memories in Mexico on the anniversary of another massive quake in...

Read More
US will ‘destroy’ N. Korea, rip up Iran pact: Trump
Sep 20

US will ‘destroy’ N. Korea, rip up Iran pact: Trump

United Nations : President Donald Trump warned “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un is on a “suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it targets the United States or its allies, in a bellicose maiden address to the UN yesterday. Appearing for the first time...

Read More