The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Tsinghua Unigroup, China’s largest chip design firm, has prepared a $21 per share or $23 billion offer for Micron. The bid, if made public, would be the biggest by a Chinese company and would be subject to U.S. review, including before the Treasury Department‘s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
If you haven’t read my first book Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival, I would like to point out to the fact that sale of American Intellectual Property to foreign investments isn’t happening for first time. Let us look into how free trade has resulted in perpetual destruction of American manufacturing sector and resulted in transfer of manufacturing technology to countries like China and Japan. In an article “Reaganomics – A Bogus Economics Paid by China and Japan “, the author mentions that,
Unlike Chinese, who are interested in purchasing high-tech and commodity firms like 3COM, IBM’s laptop division, and Unocal, Japanese were purchasing trophies like Rockefeller Center, golf courses (like Pebble Beach, California), prime American hotels, office buildings and Hollywood studios (like Columbia Pictures). Had Japan not financed the deficits, the interest rates would have skyrocketed and the U.S. economy, which was based on “Reaganomics” at that time, would have collapsed.
James Lewis, a security expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies said about Micron acquisition by China’s Tsinghua Unigroup that, “I think they’re going to have a really hard time. CFIUS is always suspicious of state-owned enterprises. That would be a huge obstacle.” I personally disagree with James that state-ownership of Tsinghua Unigroup would stop American IP to be transferred to China.
In my article Transformation of US Semiconductor Industry published in the May 2014 issue of The Institute of Science and International Security, I pointed out to the threat of ownership of Global Foundries by ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Corporation), which is essentially an investment vehicle of government of Abu Dhabi. So, If China’s Tsinghua Unigroup faces opposition to ownership of Micron, it might well start a private company like ATIC but would use it as an investment vehicle of government of China to get access to American IP.
In my article published on EBN, Federal Reserve Help Needed to Help OEMs Reduce U.S. Trade Deficits , I made the case that deceptive free trade agreements promoted by US based MNCs post world war 2 have not only resulted in huge unemployment in the US but we can also deduce the fact that China is able to buy American physical and intellectual property from the US with vast FOREX reserves that it has accumulated through manipulation of exchange rates. The day is not far when US would no longer be “The land of the free and home of the brave” if this sale of IP continues unabated due to crony Capitalism.
Now that a copy of Mass Capitalism : A Blueprint for Economic Revival is with US president Mr. Barack H. Obama, let us see if there are any steps taken by US Government to stop such Sale of IP.