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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Cites national security concerns.

I don’t know if you have, but I’ve noticed more than one media member remark how quickly the news cycle moves these days. With Donald Trump setting a frenetic pace in the White House it’s hard to stay abreast of all the goings on. Blink once and you’ll miss something!

Remember when the president was reassuring Guam that it wouldn’t face nuclear annihilation? Or when he grasped the orb? It seems like ages, but that wasn't so long ago!

The point is, a lot of important stuff is happening right under our noses. So this week, while the president creates some bipartisan bonhomie with Capitol Hill Democrats, check out what else he did:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday blocked a Beijing-backed fund’s attempt to buy an American chip maker, signaling his administration will closely scrutinize Chinese efforts to invest in U.S. semiconductor technology.

The chip maker had already gotten a thumbs-down from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which scrutinizes deals for national security concerns – but it still made a direct (and public) appeal to the president to overrule his advisers.

That approach didn’t work, it looks like. The White House said President Trump deemed the deal too risky because of “the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government’s role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the United States Government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States Government.”

Semiconductors are a key component in military hardware, and keeping the manufacture of them stateside (and not going to a potential adversary), the thinking goes, is a good idea.

So: The president zapped this semiconductor sale. Sounds like he’s worried that the atrophy of American industry might lead to national security problems, right?

Yeah?

If that's the case, we hope he listens to the growing chorus of military leaders and steelmakers who say the country’s steelmaking ability is coming close to a tipping point. China continues to swamp the world in steel, and U.S. mills could go belly up. And once lost, that steelmaking ability it isn't easy to regain.