FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer and Monsanto said on Tuesday they would spend at least half of their agriculture research and development budget in the United States over the next six years, following a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump last week.
The two companies, which are awaiting approval of their agreed $66 billion deal from Trump's incoming administration, issued a joint statement after Trump's spokesman said Bayer had pledged to boost U.S. investments and jobs.
They said they expect to spend a total of about $16 billion worldwide on agriculture R&D over the next six years, in line with an annual 2.5 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) pro-forma budget they announced at the time of the merger agreement in September.
The German drugs and agriculture group and the U.S. seeds giant also said on Tuesday they would create "several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete".
Trump's spokesman had said the companies had promised to maintain their more than 9,000 U.S. jobs and add 3,000 new U.S. high-tech positions.
Trump has elicited jobs and investment pledges from several companies including General Motors and Wal-Mart as he prepares to take office on Friday.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Georgina Prodhan/Ruth Pitchford)