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.
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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)