President Trump Blocks Chinese Acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corp.

President Trump Blocks Chinese Acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corp.

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Robert Petrosyan, Fiscal Policy Senior Editor

 

President Trump announced today that he will be blocking a proposed acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. by Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, a Chinese venture capital firm that has close ties to the Chinese government.

 

The Committee on Foreign Investment recommended against this acquisition, and did so on national security grounds. President Trump agreed with this concern and decided to stop the business deal, using his powers to stop an international deal if it presents a threat to national security.

 

The White House released a statement on the matter, claiming that “the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government’s role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the United States Government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States Government.”

 

This statement likely refers to the widespread allegation of Chinese hacking into American cyberspace, particularly to steal trade secrets as well as produce counterfeits on products patented in America.

 

Generally, when the president threatens to block a business transaction on national security grounds, the firms involved choose to terminate the deal. On this occasion, however, both Lattice and Canyon Bridge sought to justify the approval of this agreement.

 

Both sides of the deal touted economic benefits, including expanded job creation and economic growth in America. They also downplayed potential national security risk coming from the approval of the deal.

 

“We are obviously disappointed in today’s decision by the President of the United States to forgo what we believe to be an excellent deal for Lattice’s shareholders and its employees by expanding the opportunity to keep jobs in America”, a statement from Canyon Bridge read. “We remain focused on other investment opportunities where we can work with exceptional companies to create jobs and grow revenue.”

 

This move was the fourth instance when the executive branch of the US stopped an international business acquisition on national security grounds.

 

Follow this author on Twitter @Rob_Petrosyan

 

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