United States of America: Presidential order blocking a Chinese-German acquisition of a U.S. semiconductor firm

Measure #13089 | Published 6 Dec 2016 ▲


On December 2, 2016 President Obama signed an order blocking the proposed acquisition of Aixtron, Inc., a California-based subsidiary of the German company Aixtron SE. All involved firms are in the semiconductor industry. The parent was the subject of a proposed acquisition by Grand Chip Investment GMBH, another German company that is nonetheless ultimately controlled in part by a Chinese limited partnership known as Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund.
According to the presidential order, “There is credible evidence that leads [the president] to believe that” these foreign investors “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.” This is only the third time since the creation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States in 1975 that a president has acted on a recommendation by the committee to block a foreign investment.

Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:

Question Result
Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?
Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?
Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?
Was such evidence identified?
Is such evidence publicly available?
Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?
Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?
Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?
Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?

Implementing Jurisdiction:

Affected Trading Partners:

Measure type:

Affected Sectors:

Affected Tariff Lines:

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Date Discovered:

Implemented: Yes

Date of inception: 2 Dec 2016

GTA Evaluation: Amber

Government Response:

Glossary of trade terms