Tags: bayer | monsanto | merge | agriculture | pesticide

Will Trump Support Bayer and Monsanto Merger?

Will Trump Support Bayer and Monsanto Merger?
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann (AP/Martin Meissner)

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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 03:26 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Two of the world’s largest multinational agricultural firms are on the verge of a merger that opponents claim could deal a major blow to competition among U.S. farmers and drastically raise the price of seeds.

Despite meetings a year ago with top executives from German pharmaceutical and chemical conglomerate Bayer and the Monsanto agricultural chemicals firm, President Trump has yet to take a position on what is being increasingly called the most far-reaching merger in the modern history of agriculture.

Asked on Monday about the president’s position on the proposed merger, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Newsmax: “I haven’t spoken to him on that. I’ll have to get back to you.”

Werner Baumann, chief executive of Bayer, and Hugh Grant, CEO of the Missouri-based Monsanto, met to discuss the merger estimated at $66 billion with Trump in New York while he was president-elect in January of 2017.

At the time, aides to Baumann and Grant told reporters that the two CEOs promised Trump $8 billion of investment in the U.S. and thousands of new American jobs should the merger go through.

“It was a productive meeting about the future of agriculture and the need for innovation,” a Bayer spokesman told Reuters after the meeting.

Eventually Trump’s appointees to the anti-trust division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission will decide whether the merger can happen.

But there are also sharp warnings from opponents of what a merger will bring to American agriculture.

With the market for seeds now dominated by four firms, a Bayer-Monsanto merger would drop that number to three and give the new firm a tremendous hand in determining the prices for seeds.

According to a study by Texas A&M University, mergers by the firms dealing with seeds would result in less competition and higher prices. The study predicted the price of cottonseed would go up 20 percent if mergers occurred (since that study, Dow and DuPont merged and ChinaChem and Syngenta did the same).

Dee Vaughan, chairman of the Issues Committee of the Texas Corn Producers, told the Texas Tribune he was worried that mergers such as that sought by Bayer and Monsanto would lead to less competition and farmers forced out of their profession.

We have to buy seeds; they have us in a situation where we have to buy their product,” he said. “But they still have the ability to go even higher on their prices.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, go here now.

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Despite meetings a year ago with top executives from Bayer and the Monsanto, President Trump has yet to take a position on what is being increasingly called the most far-reaching merger in the modern history of agriculture.
bayer, monsanto, merge, agriculture, pesticide
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2018-26-23
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 03:26 PM
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