FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2016
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (February 3, 2016) – In response to today’s merger announcement by Syngenta AG and China National Chemical Corporation, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is cause for concern among everyone in U.S. agriculture, especially farmers. NFU will pay particularly close attention to the alarming trend of Chinese government-owned entities purchasing U.S. and other agricultural companies. Most recently, Chinese company Shuanghui International acquired U.S. pork producer Smithfield.
“In this case, Syngenta would be owned by a company controlled by the Chinese government. For an increasingly consolidated sector of agriculture, this is of particular concern since state-owned businesses frequently do not act in economically rational or predictable ways. As a result, more uncertainty often surrounds their businesses, and consequently, other competing businesses may be adversely affected.
“While NFU is pleased that Syngenta will maintain its North American presence for the sake of competition in the marketplace, we will continue to review the impact this deal may have on the competitiveness in U.S. agriculture. NFU is especially concerned that yet another merger will trigger additional domestic consolidation of the remaining seed and crop protection companies.
“We urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review this transaction to the fullest capacity of its jurisdiction for its impact on national security.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.