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Bayer-Monsanto to invest $8 bln in US

New York (AFP) – German chemicals giant Bayer will invest about $8 billion in the United States in agriculture research in conjunction with Monsanto, which it is purchasing, the companies said on Tuesday.

The announcement came after a “very productive meeting” last week between President-elect Donald Trump, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto chief Hugh Grant.

The joint statement did not however confirm the announcement by a Trump spokesman that Bayer will create “at least 3,000 new US high-tech jobs,” and retain “100 percent of Monsanto’s 9,000 plus US workforce.”

“The combined company expects to spend approximately $16 billion for R&D in agriculture over the next six years with at least half of this investment made in the United States,” the Bayer-Monsanto statement said.

“This is an investment in innovation and people that will create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete.”

It was the third announcement of US investment and job creation plans by a major company on Tuesday, just three days before Trump’s inauguration. Trump quickly took credit in a pair of tweets that came shortly after announcements from General Motors and Walmart.

“With all of the jobs I am bringing back into the US (even before taking office), with all of the new auto plants coming back into our country and with the massive cost reductions I have negotiated on military purchases and more, I believe the people are seeing ‘big stuff.’”

Monsanto shareholders last month approved the $66 billion takeover of the US company by Bayer. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017 pending approval by antitrust officials in the US and Europe.

Bayer-Monsanto, which will be headquartered in St. Louis, said its US investment will be in “global seeds and traits research and development.” 

The Trump spokesman said the investments are coming “because the president-elect’s focus on creating better business climate here in the United States, which has already increased consumer and small-business confidence since the election.”

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