Monsanto-Bayer: Trump noses into one of the world's biggest mergers (AND FINDS COMPLEX JOB/COMPETITION CALCULUS)
2017-01-18 — politico.com
Trump asked specific questions about the $66 billion merger they are in the middle of, according to people briefed on the meeting. The companies committed to $8 billion in new research and development, along with 3,000 new jobs and a commitment to keep 9,000 other jobs in the United States, if the merger goes through.
[But] Leading the charge [against the deal] on Capitol Hill is Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has pushed regulators to block the deal.
"I am concerned that the merger will curtail chemical and seed choices, and raise prices for farmers and the American consumer. In addition, I am concerned that the proposed deal will harm research, development and innovation," the Iowa Republican said in a Nov. 2 letter to the Justice Department's antitrust division.
Among those advocating against consolidation in the agrochemical industry is Bruce Rastetter, an Iowa agribusiness leader and Republican mega-donor, who also serves on Trump's agricultural advisory council. Rastetter says the deals would limit competition, raise costs for farmers and stunt job growth.
"It's not surprising that the people who will benefit most from the merger are anxious to convince President-elect Trump that it won't harm farmers and agriculture," Rastetter said in a recent interview with POLITICO. "Trump is smart enough to know that when fewer companies are selling products, there is less competition and prices go up."
Painter said that Trump, if he wants to set economic policies, should propose laws across the board and not get involved in the specifics of deals with companies.
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