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Trump says no to China-backed semiconductor deal

By
Elizabeth Shim
President Donald Trump did not approve the takeover of a U.S. chip maker by a China-backed firm on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
President Donald Trump did not approve the takeover of a U.S. chip maker by a China-backed firm on Wednesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump has blocked the takeover of a U.S. semiconductor firm by a Chinese-backed investor -- months after Lattice Semiconductor Corp. announced the $1.3 billion deal in November 2016.

Trump, who has been critical of Chinese business practices while requesting Beijing's cooperation on exerting greater economic pressure on North Korea, did not approve of the deal after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. had rejected the deal, possibly out of security concerns, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

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After CFIUS, a panel of senior officials representing Treasury, State, Homeland Security and Defense departments, did not approve of the takeover three times, Lattice and Chinese-backed Canyon Bridge made an appeal to Trump, arguing the deal would grow U.S. jobs.

"Consistent with the administration's commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of U.S. national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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In a separate statement, the White House said "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" all posed potential risks to national security.

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Lattice shares dropped 1.7 percent on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

Lattice, based in Portland, Ore., had said Canyon Bridge currently employs 300 people in the state with an additional 350 more to be employed after the acquisition, according to CNN Money.

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Canyon Bridge said it is "obviously disappointed" in the executive decision and claimed the deal would have expanded the "opportunity to keep jobs in America."

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