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]

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