Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) [October 1, 2012]   [open pdf - 343KB]

"The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is comprised of nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated 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. […] In the first session of the 110th Congress, the House and Senate adopted S. 1610, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act (FINSA) of 2007. […] On January 23, 2008, President Bush issued Executive Order 13456 implementing the law. The Executive Order also established some caveats that may affect the way in which the law is implemented. These caveats stipulate that the President will provide information that is required under the law as long as it is 'consistent' with the President's authority 'to conduct the foreign affairs of the United States; withhold information the disclosure of which could impair the foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties; recommend for congressional consideration such measures as the President may judge necessary and expedient; and supervise the unitary executive branch.' Despite the relatively recent passage of the amendments, some Members of Congress and others have questioned the performance of CFIUS and the way the Committee reviews cases involving foreign governments, particularly with the emergence of direct investments through sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The Obama Administration issued a statement on June 30, 2011, supporting an open investment policy, a commitment to treat all investors in a fair and equitable manner, and support for business investment from sources both home and abroad in the economy. On September 28, 2012, President Obama used the authority granted to him under FINSA to block a Chinese acquisition of a U.S. energy firm."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33388
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