Agnc Investment Corp., a private equity firm with an investment arm based in Ireland, has made a $3.4bn investment to help develop and commercialise an advanced biofuel-based biofuel that could help farmers in developing countries achieve higher yields and lower greenhouse gas emissions, it has announced.
The company, based in Cork, is part of AgNC Holdings which is run by Irish billionaire Richard Cork.
The $3 billion deal will see Agnc invest in biofuel technology in the US, Ireland, Japan, Australia and Canada.
It is the largest investment by a US private equity fund to date.
Agnc will work closely with AgNC’s US and Canadian operations, the company said in a statement.
The announcement comes as US President Donald Trump announced that the United States will not sign a new free trade agreement with Canada until it commits to eliminating the importation of Canadian beef, pork and lamb.
Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesThe announcement came just days after the Trump administration announced its intention to slap new tariffs on Canadian goods and services in a bid to boost American exports.
In a press release, the Trump White House said it was “deeply disappointed” that the US would not sign the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) for a second time, citing “unfair, harmful and anti-competitive trade practices” by Canadian companies.
The president said he will “continue to aggressively enforce tariffs on imported Canadian products” and would take actions to “make Canadian products competitive with American products”.
“I am confident that our administration will be a force for good in this country,” Trump said in the statement.
Trump’s announcement came hours after the Department of Commerce announced the US will no longer accept Canadian beef from 2019 onwards, but Canadian beef imports would be allowed for the next three years.
The Trump administration has been fighting to overturn a 2016 trade deal with Canada that it said had harmed American agriculture, and has threatened to pull out of the landmark deal if it does not get its way.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had vowed to stay in the deal despite the Trump Administration’s threats.
Ahead of the announcement, Agnc’s chief executive, David Kelly, said the US government had failed to put food security ahead of trade, and it was a “terrible day for farmers”.
“Agence French-Presso said today that Agnc is now a US investor and the world’s largest biofuel investor,” Agnc Holdings said in its statement.
“Agnc is a private company that has committed to helping US farmers and ranchers achieve higher yield and lower emissions through biofuels and to build a sustainable and sustainable food system.”
Agence Franco-Pressem/ReutersAgence Francaise, the French agricultural group, which owns Agnc, said in December it had secured a $1.5bn investment deal with Agnc to help expand production in the agro-fuels sector.
It said the new investment would create “more than 100 jobs”.
Agence Française said in February that it would invest $1bn in agrofuels.Reuters