【英语财经】美参议员就中国化工收购先正达提出警告 Grassley warns on ChemChina-Syngenta deal

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2016-3-24 20:55

小艾摘要: A $44bn Chinese bid for Swiss seeds and chemicals group Syngenta has come under fire from an influential US lawmaker for what he says are concerns it raises about the impact on US food and national se ...
Grassley warns on ChemChina-Syngenta deal
A $44bn Chinese bid for Swiss seeds and chemicals group Syngenta has come under fire from an influential US lawmaker for what he says are concerns it raises about the impact on US food and national security.

In a radio interview broadcast on Wednesday, Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was concerned that state-owned ChemChina’s bid for Syngenta would give Beijing ownership of a vital part of the US’s agricultural infrastructure.

“Because the food and agriculture sectors are part of the nation’s critical infrastructure this merger raises questions about the potential national security implications,” the veteran senator told an Iowa radio station.

While Syngenta is Swiss-owned, its biotech division is based in the US and is a big player in the US and international markets for genetically-modified seeds, a technology that Beijing has long coveted as it faces the challenge of guaranteeing its own food security.

The two companies announced the deal in February and said they would be submitting it for approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a government panel that reviews purchases of US assets by foreign investors for potential national security implications.

CFIUS has never rejected a deal on the grounds of food security and lawyers say the ChemChina-Syngenta deal does not raise any obvious national security concerns, although it will be subjected to an obligatory 75-day review because ChemChina is state-owned.

But the deal, which would be the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company, comes amid growing Chinese inbound investment into the US and greater political and regulatory scrutiny that comes with it.

Mr Grassley is among a growing number of senior US officials who have raised concerns about the deal. Earlier this month, Tom Vilsack, the US agriculture secretary, said he had reservations about the transaction and its impact on US competitors trying to crack the Chinese market.

Mr Grassley said he was concerned about the increasing consolidation in the seed industry and what that meant for Iowa farmers. But a ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta would also give China even more control over the global market for GM corn, soyabean and other seeds than it already enjoys, he said.

Because it is the largest US export market for many crops, the decisions Chinese authorities make on approving certain lines of GM seeds have huge commercial implications with many farmers in the US and elsewhere refusing to plant any seeds not approved for sale in China.

“My concerns of concentration and national security are compounded by the fact the Chinese government, if the ChemChina-Syngenta deal is approved, would be both a regulator in regard to biotech product approval and also at the same time owner of an entity that needs biotech approval,” he said.

In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday, Mr Grassley said he would be seeking a formal role for the US agriculture department on CFIUS when it came time to consider the acquisition of Syngenta. The department does not normally take part in such reviews.

一家中国企业以440亿美元收购瑞士种子与化工集团先正达(Syngenta)的交易,受到了美国一位很有影响的议员的攻击。据这位议员表示,理由是这一并购可能影响美国食品和国家安全

在周三播出的一次广播电台的访谈中,爱荷华州共和党人、参议院司法委员会(Senate Judiciary Committee)主席查克?格莱斯利(Chuck Grassley)表示,他担心中国国有企业中国化工(ChemChina)对先正达的收购,会令中国政府获得对美国农业基础设施关键部分的所有权。

这位资深参议员向爱荷华州一家广播电台表示:“由于食品和农业部门是美国至关重要的基础设施的一部分,这一并购引发了对潜在国家安全影响的质疑。”

尽管先正达是一家归瑞士所有的公司,该公司的生物技术部门却位于美国,是美国和国际市场转基因种子的一大巨头。长期以来,面临确保自身食品安全的挑战,中国政府始终觊觎着转基因技术。

中国化工和先正达于今年2月公布了这一交易,并表示他们会将该交易提交美国海外投资委员会(Committee on Foreign Investment)审批。美国海外投资委员会是美国政府部门的一个小组,负责审查外国投资者对美国资产的收购,寻找可能给国家安全带来的影响。

该机构从未因食品安全的理由拒绝批准并购交易。多名律师表示,中国化工收购先正达的交易并未引发任何明显的国家安全担忧。不过,由于中国化工是一家国有企业,该交易将受到75天的强制审查。

格莱斯利是对该交易提出担忧的越来越多的美国高官之一。本月早些时候,美国农业部长汤姆?维尔萨克(Tom Vilsack)曾表示,对该交易及其对试图打开中国市场的美国竞争者的影响持保留态度。

译者/简易

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