The Chinese takeover of a microchip plant in Wales has become subject to major protest by American Congressmen, who have written to President Biden.
Nine politicians urged the president to demand security vetting on British investments, writing a letter calling for “urgent action” to overturn the sale of Newport Wafer Fab.
The letter, signed by the lead Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, Michael McCaul, said the takeover “serves as a critical test case” of the UK’s ability to “address a shared security concern regarding critical technology”, according to The Times.
Chinese firm Wingtech Technology owns Nexperia, which bought the plant for more than £60m last year, has been at the centre of controversy, with calls made to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to overturn the sale, under the guise of national security.
The letter called on Biden to reassess whether the UK should be on the US’s ‘white list’ for screening overseas investments, while also urging him to restrict exports of US tech which involve parts made in Newport.
The approval of the deal would “call into question the fidelity of the UK’s entire review process” for its security.
While saying Britain is a key ally, they added it’s essential China is “not able to gain control of any segment of critical supply chains”.
Previously the UK government has been warned it would become a “wholly owned subsidiary of China” if the sale went ahead. Boris Johnson previously said it would be “economically foolhardy” to block every investment from China.
A Government spokesperson said: “The Business Secretary has made no decision with regards to any commercial transaction between Newport Wafer Fab and Nexperia.
“We are considering the case and will continue to monitor the situation closely. We will not hesitate to use the powers available to him under the National Security and Investment Act if needed.”