July 09, 2007

Dodd, Shelby Laud Senate Passage of CFIUS Legislation

Bill promotes foreign investments consistent with national security priorities

Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today announced that the Senate passed the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 by unanimous consent. The bill would reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) by strengthening the role of the Director of National Intelligence, mandating the designation of a lead agency for each covered transaction, and providing for a thirty-day review of transactions covered by CFIUS to determine its effects on national security, among other provisions.
    "Senate approval of this legislation is a very important step toward implementing needed reforms to existing government procedures for assessing the national security implications of foreign investments in the United States. This bipartisan legislation will both create and sustain jobs and provide greater security for our citizens. The bill, when enacted, will strengthen national security, while also providing more transparency and predictability to the CFIUS process that is so important to ensuring that the U.S. economy continues to benefit from the fruits of foreign direct investment," said Senator Dodd. "I believe that of particular importance in the bill are provisions which strengthen the role of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in the review process by making the DNI an ex-officio member of CFIUS and requiring that the Director undertake a thorough analysis of proposed transaction with an eye toward any national security implications. The bill also makes clear that the President has the ultimate authority to suspend or prohibit a covered transaction if there is credible evidence that U.S. national security is at risk."
Senator Shelby said,

    "I am pleased that this legislation today received the approval of the full Senate. Chairman Dodd and I worked together to produce a reasonable compromise that achieves the primary objective of safeguarding our nation's security without unnecessarily restricting the flow of direct foreign investment that is critical to the U.S. economy. I believe that this legislation accomplishes these goals by establishing a thorough process to review transactions with a clear line of accountability, and I am hopeful that it will soon gain the approval of the House and the President."

The Senate Banking Committee passed the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 on May 16. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.