Leaders of Monsanto and Bayer met Wednesday with President-elect Donald Trump to argue the case that a planned merger would create jobs in the U.S.
The German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG agreed to purchase American seed and pesticide company Monsanto for $57 billion in September, pending regulatory approval from the federal government. The merger would be the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a German firm.
“Today, Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, had a productive meeting with President-Elect Trump and his team to share their views on the future of the agriculture industry and its need for innovation,” a Monsanto spokesman told FOX Business.
Trump is positioning himself as a dealmaker president who will not be afraid to work directly with individual companies to encourage job growth or discourage jobs from moving overseas.
Trump met with the two CEOs around 2 p.m., soon after the he gave his first press conference as president-elect, where he promised that he would work hard to create more jobs for the American people. (RELATED: Trump: I Will Be The ‘Greatest Jobs Producer That God Ever Created)
The deal would need to be approved by both the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division under Trump’s administration, as well as the European Union.
Trump is critical of certain big mergers, and said he would not allow the $85 billion Time Warner and AT&T merger when he becomes president. The merger is “an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump said in November.
Mergers typically involve layoffs at the acquired company, but Grant claims the deal would make Monsanto a “global center” for the seed business, thereby creating jobs in the U.S. A fall in agriculture commodity prices has already spurred Monsanto to reduce its workforce over the past year.
Some farm groups believe the merger will harm agriculture by stifling competition in the seed business.
“There will almost certainly be much less competition in the marketplace, and as a direct result of that farmers will end up paying higher prices than they otherwise would be paying,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, a Washington, D.C. farm lobbying firm, told the Wall Street Journal.
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