Trump blocks major Chinese acquisition of a U.S. company – cites national security risks

by | Sep 14, 2017

China-backed private equity buyout firm Canyon Bridge Capital has just felt the wrath of the Trump administrations ‘America First’ economic policy. 

In a deal that was slated to be worth over $1.3 billion, the firm was set to acquire U.S. based company Lattice Semiconductor, but the move was blocked due to national security concerns. 

Former President Barack Obama also made moves to disrupt Chinese acquisitions citing security worries during his tenure in the White House, having intervened in a Chinese company’s bid to buy German semiconductor firm Aixtron in late 2016. 

This latest intervention is just one new blow to China’s ambition to acquire American tech firms. Much anxiety has stemmed from a Pentagon report this year, which shows that China is investing in Silicon Valley tech start-ups with military applications at such a fast rate, that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies.

Though this block may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, it is representative of a fresh approach to international trade from the Republican President. Trump has made no secret of the fact that he seeks to reduce foreign influence in U.S. industries (such as limiting the amount of jobs in American companies that are shipped to Mexico, China and other low-wage nations) and create fairer trade deals abroad that will help the U.S. compete more effectively with other countries. 

It is not only trade with the Asian superpower that is a major talking point in Washington. Several members of Trumps cabinet are deeply concerned about alleged international property theft by the Chinese, highlighted by Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who warned earlier this year that America was already locked in an economic war with China.

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