Displaying items by tag: President Trump
The White House has intervened in a business transaction between a Chinese-backed private equity firm and a US chipmaker. US President Donald Trump has blocked Canyon Bridge Capital Partners planned $1.3 billion acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. The decision has sent a clear message to Beijing that Washington will vehemently oppose any takeover deals that involve technologies that may have potential military applications. The bid by the Chinese-backed equity company was one of the largest ever attempted on the US microchip sector.
US regulators became more focused on the business activities Canyon Bridge were engaging in when it emerged that the firm was largely funded by capital from China’s central government and had indirect links to its space program. In addition to this, Canyon Bridge came across the radar of US defense officials when it became clear that company behind the Lattice acquisition bid was backed by the Chinese government – and this subsequently sparked severe security concerns.
Lattice Semiconductor Corp is headquartered in Oregon and makes chips known as field-programmable gate arrays, which enables companies to put their own software on silicon chips for different uses. The company publicly stated that it didn’t sell its chips to the US military anymore, unlike its two biggest competitors, Xilinx and Intel’s Altera.
It has been reported that President Trump stated in an executive order that Lattice and the Chinese-backed private equity firm shall take all steps necessary to fully and permanently abandon the proposed transaction within 30 days. Trump’s decision echoes the sentiments of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), which is a body that scrutinizes deals for potential national security threats.
US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin issued a statement confirming that both the CFIUS and the President have assessed that the transaction between the two companies pose a risk to the national security of the United States, and furthermore can’t be resolved through mitigation. The US Treasury Secretary did highlight that the risk of national security was related to the potential transfer of intellectual property and the Chinese government’s direct involvement in the deal.
However, China has expressed their disappointment and concern regarding the decision made by the US President and the US Committee on Foreign Investment. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said he respected the US was fully in within its rights to examine the security implications surrounding potential foreign investment, but he was disappointed by how the US had conducted itself during its investigation.
He said, “We believe conducting security examinations of investments in sensitive sectors is a country’s legitimate right, but it should not become a tool for advancing protectionism and we hoped that the United States could view Chinese firms’ acquisitions objectively and provide fair treatment to what was their “normal commercial behavior”. Lattice and Canyon Bridge released a joint statement on Wednesday declaring that they had terminated the proposed deal. Lattice also said it is committed to achieving profitable growth.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has committed to building three large manufacturing plants in the United States, President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Trump claims Cook has promised to build “three big plants, beautiful plants,” but didn’t go into more detail.
About 80,000 people work for Apple in the US and is said to employ about two million people in total. The company was criticized last year by Trump during his presidential campaign for outsourcing its manufacturing to factories in China. In an interview with TIME, Trump said he hoped Apple would shift its manufacturing to the US.
Only a small amount of Apple products are produced in the US, according to the WSJ, and are made in the country on contract. Flex has a deal with Apple to make Mac computers in Austin, Texas, while Quanta Computer produces Macs in Fremont, California.
However, majority of Apple products are being made in China, mainly by Foxconn Technology, a company that produces iPhone products and others. Trump also claims Foxconn has plans to build a large plant in the US and is considering locating it in Wisconsin.
A number of leading US technology companies are to send a letter to US President Donald Trump in which they will urge his administration to follow through on proposed changes to an executive order in relation to a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The technology companies expected to sign the letter include firms such as Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo. The tech firms are keen to establish clarity on the issue as the travel ban would significantly impacts its workforces.
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27th which imposed a 90-day ban directly affecting citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – and the order also included a 120-day bar on all refugees. It sparked worldwide protests - and resulted in chaos at airports with some passengers trapped at airports - while others were left stranded overseas.
However, a federal judge put a temporary nationwide block on the executive order, which angered the Republican US president – who proceeded to blast the judge and the court system – and vowed to execute the order.
A draft of the letter from US firms has been leaked, and in it the tech giants have requested that their employees can travel with predictability and without undue delay.
"We welcome the changes your administration has made in recent days in how the Department of Homeland Security will implement the Executive Order. We stand ready to help your administration identify other opportunities to ensure that our employees can travel with predictability and without undue delay. We are concerned that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country's success our ability to grow our companies and create jobs depends on the contributions of immigrants from all backgrounds."
It has been reported that the US tech firms are set to post the letter to President Trump today.