WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2017 - German agrochemical giant Bayer has committed to creating at least 3,000 new U.S. jobs and spending $8 billion on research and development if it is allowed to take over Monsanto Co., a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump announced. 

The announcement follows a meeting in New York last week between Trump and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robb Fraley. 

Bayer and Monsanto need clearance from the Justice Department and the European Union for the merger to go forward. 

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer also said that Bayer has promised to keep all of Monsanto’s 9,000 existing U.S. jobs and to maintain its headquarters in St. Louis. He said the 3,000 new positions would "span from genomicists to robotics to satellite imagery specialists, engineers, data scientists, advanced breeders and statisticians. 

“The reason for this commitment and expansion is because of the president-elect's focus on creating a better business climate here in the United States,” Spicer said. 

Bayer and Monsanto later issued a joint statement saying that the merger would “ensure the United States retains a pre-eminent position as the anchor of the industry.” The companies said in September 2016 that they were “committed to retaining strong presence” in the United States and to keeping the seeds and traits business in St. Louis, which would be the North American headquarters for the combined firm.

The latest statement continued: “The combined company expects to spend approximately $16 billion for R&D in agriculture over the next six years with at least half of this investment made in the United States. This is an investment in innovation and people that will create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete, jobs that will keep America at the forefront of agricultural innovation and that serve U.S. farmers by delivering better products and services faster. 

“More specifically, this is an investment in the U.S. heartland with global seeds and traits research and development for the combined company being headquartered in St. Louis, along with its agriculture North American commercial headquarters and additional research and commercial locations throughout the United States.”

The statement didn't mention the 3,000 figure that Spicer announced for new jobs and provided no other detail. 

The National Farmers Union, which opposes the Bayer-Monsanto combination, said Tuesday’s announcement is “deeply disturbing” if leads to approval of the merger. 

"The touted benefits of these deals pale in comparison to the adverse effects family farmers and ranchers will face with continued mergers in the agriculture sector. Corporate consolidation in agriculture leads to less competition and choice in the marketplace and higher input costs for family farmers and ranchers,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Earlier this month, Trump adviser and Iowa agribusiness leader Bruce Rastetter called on Trump to block some of the pending mergers in the seed and agrochemical industry.