Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) [Updated May 17, 2006] [open pdf - 117KB]
"The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is comprised of 12 members representing major departments and agencies within the federal Executive Branch. While the group generally operates in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group's operations under intense scrutiny by Members of Congress and the public. Prompted by this case, some Members are questioning the ability of Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities given the general view that CFIUS's operations lack transparency. Other Members are revisiting concerns about the linkage between national security and the role of foreign investment in the U.S. economy. Some Members of Congress and others argue that the nation's security and economic concerns have changed since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and that these concerns are not being reflected sufficiently in the Committee's deliberations. In addition, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the CFIUS process may not be market neutral, instead a CFIUS investigation of an investment transaction may be perceived by some firms and by some in the financial markets as a negative factor that adds to uncertainty and may spur firms to engage in behavior that is not optimal for the economy as a whole."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33388