Trump administration blocks technology transfer sale to China – Forward Observer Shop

Trump administration blocks technology transfer sale to China

The Trump administration has blocked the sale of an Oregon technology firm to a Chinese company over concerns the tech transfer would harm U.S. national security.

The $1.3 billion sale involved an Oregon-based Lattice Semiconductor to a Chinese equity firm based in the U.S. but funded by China, Canyon Bridge Capital Partners.

On Sept. 13, the White House announced that the president was rejecting Canyon Bridge’s $1.3 billion acquisition plan of the semiconductor maker on the grounds that it might “impair the national security of the United States.” The decision came after the Treasury department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) signaled that it was recommending against (paywall) the acquisition, which was first announced last November, and later agreed to by Lattice’s shareholders.

At the point that the committee sends such a signal, it usually provides the parties a chance to walk away, “and control the public message,” wrote Lawrence Ward, a partner at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney who specializes in international business and US national security law, in an email. “It is rather unusual for companies to allow the President to make a determination.”

Earlier this year, a Pentagon report said that Beijing was acquiring dual-use technology that could be adapted for the military. An FBI statement said that Lattice semiconductors had been heat-tested to military standards.

The decision to reject the sale reportedly was made by President Trump personally, which experts in international technology sales say is unusual. [source]

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-China conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region. Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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