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Citing national security concerns, Trump blocks sale of US semiconductor company to Chinese firm

Edited by: India TV News Desk Washington September 14, 2017 17:41 IST
India TV News Desk

Citing national security concerns, President Donald Trump has issued an order blocking the sale of an American semiconductor company to a Chinese-backed firm, the White House said on Wednesday. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the President’s order prohibits the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (Lattice) by, among others, China Venture Capital Fund Corporation Limited (CVCF). 

The order directed the companies to take all steps to drop the proposed USD 1.3 billion deal within 30 days, Sanders said. 

CVCF is a Chinese corporation owned by Chinese state-owned entities that manages industrial investments and venture capital.

Trump reached this decision upon consideration of the appropriate factors and a review of a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

Trump made the decision under Defense Production Act which authorises him to suspend or prohibit certain acquisitions that result in foreign control of an American business if he concludes, among other things, that there is credible evidence that the foreign interest exercising control might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the US, Sanders said.

"The national-security risk posed by the transaction relates to, among other things, 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 US government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States government," Sanders said.

In his order Trump said there is "credible evidence" that leads him to believe that this acquisition might result in action that threatens to impair the national security of the US. 

 

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin welcomed the Presidential decision. He is also chairman of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). "The national security risk posed by the transaction relates to, among other things, 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 US government, and the use of Lattice products by the US government."

Lattice is a publicly traded company headquartered in Oregon that manufactures semiconductors for the consumer, communications, and industrial markets. Lattice's primary semiconductor product lines are programmable logic devices, which are general purpose semiconductors that customers can program to provide functionality similar to chips that are designed and produced for specific applications.