Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged President Obama earlier this week to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have the opportunity to weigh in on the largest proposed foreign takeover by a Chinese company in history. State-owned China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) plans to spend $43 billion on Syngenta, a Switzerland-based seed giant company with a significant presence in the U.S.
 
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is examining the proposed acquisition. In a letter to the President, Rubio asked that the Secretary from the USDA and the Commissioner of the FDA be appointed to the CFIUS where they can offer their expertise, and expressed his concern over how Beijing would treat U.S. farm products if the acquisition is approved.
 
“Our nation grows in population, and with it, an increased need for food security,” Rubio wrote in the letter. “The concerns raised by many, through the lens of trade, biosecurity, food safety and our farming sector, must be properly addressed prior to approving the proposed acquisition.”
 
“As it is imperative to ensure the CFIUS review includes the input of relevant agencies, I respectfully request you exercise your authority to allow the Secretary from the USDA and the Commissioner of the FDA to weigh in on the proposed ChemChina-Syngenta acquisition,” Rubio continued.
 
A PDF of the letter is available here and the full text is below:
 
March 29, 2016
 
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
As the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) examines the proposed acquisition of Syngenta by state-owned China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina), I respectfully request you exercise your authority to appoint the Secretary from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to weigh in on this important decision.
 
Syngenta, a Switzerland-based company specializing in crop protection and seeds, has a significant presence in the United States. ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta has raised valid questions as to how Beijing, if approved, will then treat U.S. farm products. Our nation grows in population, and with it, an increased need for food security. The concerns raised by many, through the lens of trade, biosecurity, food safety and our farming sector, must be properly addressed prior to approving the proposed acquisition.
 
CFIUS has an important role to play in ensuring our national security is protected in numerous aspects, including that of our nation’s food supply. As it is imperative to ensure the CFIUS review includes the input of relevant agencies, I respectfully request you exercise your authority to allow the Secretary from the USDA and the Commissioner of the FDA to weigh in on the proposed ChemChina-Syngenta acquisition.
 
Respectfully,
 
Marco Rubio
United States Senator