Trump Blocks Broadcom’s Bid for Qualcomm

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday blocked Broadcom’s $117 billion bid for the chip maker Qualcomm, citing national security concerns and punctuating his administration’s increasingly protectionist stance.

In a presidential order, Mr. Trump said “there is credible evidence” that led him to believe Singapore-based Broadcom’s control of Qualcomm, which is based in San Diego, “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

The extraordinary decision by the president underscored the increasingly protectionist stance his administration has taken in recent weeks to shelter American companies and ward off foreign investment in the United States.

It followed an intervention this month by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which typically works behind closed doors and reviews deals only after they are announced, to stall the deal because of national security concerns.

While Broadcom is a Singapore-based company, China was the main concern that fueled Mr. Trump’s decision. The administration’s unease stemmed from a view that allowing a United States-based technology company to be acquired would cede its primacy in the semiconductor industry and allow China to flex its muscle and gain a competitive technological advantage.

Last week, Mr. Trump also approved stiff and sweeping tariffs in the name of national security, saying that steel and aluminum imports were a threat to American manufacturing. Mr. Trump has singled out Chinese steel as a key factor in his decision; he has said China has routed steel through other countries and flooded the United States with cheap metal.