Syngenta, which has a huge base in Huddersfield, is at the centre of what could be one of the world’s biggest takeover deals.

Chinese firm ChemChina wants to take over the firm in a £30billion deal.

But Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has called for a Westminster debate on the proposed deal.

He has voiced concerns over the growing influence of China in world trade.

The Labour MP said: “It’s the Chinese government buying up crucial core industries.

“Not only have they half-destroyed our steel industry they’re now picking off our strategic industry.

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“The only countries with a major chemical presence will be the US, Germany and China.

“And if they think things will continue nicely they need to think again.”

The chairman of Syngenta has denied that the proposed $43bn takeover by ChemChina amounts to a Chinese nationalisation of the Swiss agribusiness giant.

The deal would be the biggest foreign purchase by a Chinese company.

State-owned ChemChina has offered 480 Swiss francs a share in Syngenta and the stock rose 5.8% to 415 Swiss francs in Zurich on Wednesday.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman

The Swiss company said it was unanimously recommending the offer.

“This is absolutely not a China nationalisation,” Syngenta chairman Michel Demare told CNBC.

“ChemChina has a fantastic track record of having not only bought companies outside of China, but also having kept investing in them and developing them and keeping the culture and values in place and I’m absolutely convinced that the same will happen here.”

Mr Demare told analysts that ChemChina was “very interested in securing food supply for 1.5 billion people and as a result, knows that only technology can get them there”.

The company would remain based in Switzerland, reflecting its attractiveness as a corporate location, he said.

The deal itself may face opposition from American regulators - not on competition grounds, but because Syngenta does billions of dollars worth of business in the US, and Chinese influence could be seen as a potential threat to American food security.

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It is also likely to annoy the US giant Monsanto, which had its own bid for Syngenta rebuffed last year.

Syngenta shares have risen almost 40% in the past 12 months following a $46bn takeover bid from Monsanto last year.

Several hundred people work at the Syngenta plant in Leeds Road, Huddersfield.