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Trump endorses Pittenger national security legislation

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Rep. Robert Pittenger

CHARLOTTE – The Trump Administration has endorsed Congressman Robert Pittenger’s (NC-09) landmark national security legislation, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 4311), which strengthens how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews the national security risks of potential foreign investments.

“Given how the previous administration ignored the serious national security threat posed by malicious foreign investment, I am thankful to President Trump and his Administration for making this issue a priority and endorsing the legislation I introduced with Senator Cornyn,” said Congressman Pittenger.

“The United States has always maintained technological superiority over our enemies.  This decisive advantage is now threatened by adversarial states, including China, seeking to utilize cloaked financial investment as a vehicle for stealing our technology and infiltrating our critical infrastructure.  We cannot continue to stand still even after adversarial nations have already acquired vital military technology from our own companies.  This common sense, bipartisan legislation streamlines and bolsters the CFIUS review process to protect our military, our economy, and hardworking American families.”

The Trump Administration’s endorsement, issued Wednesday evening, can be viewed here:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/ briefings-statements/ statement-press-secretary- supporting-foreign-investment- risk-review-modernization-act/

Congressman Pittenger and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced FIRRMA on November 8th, 2017.  The legislation has also been publicly endorsed by Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

BACKGROUND

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is the only government mechanism to ensure potential foreign investments do not harm our national security.  However, CFIUS has not been substantially updated in many years.

The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, introduced on November 8th, 2017 by Congressman Pittenger and Senator Cornyn:

*Expands CFIUS jurisdiction to include joint ventures, minority position investments, and real estate transactions near military bases and other sensitive national security facilities.

*Updates CFIUS definition of “critical technologies” to include emerging technologies that could be essential for maintaining the U.S. technological advantage over countries that pose threats.

*Adds new national security factors to the review process.

*Strengthens the government’s ability to protect American “critical infrastructure” from foreign government disruption.

TREASURY SECRETARY MNUCHIN: “I support the goals of FIRRMA, which will help to ensure that CFIUS has the tools necessary to protect the national security of the United States, while simultaneously maintaining our open investment environment. I stand ready to work with Senators Cornyn, Feinstein, and Burr, Congressman Pittenger, the committees of jurisdiction, and other Members of Congress as this important legislation advances,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (12/14/2017)

ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS: “I am particularly supportive of the goals of several aspects of your proposed legislation, including but not limited to (1) the expansion of CFIUS’s authority to review certain transactions that may pose national security concerns; (2) an expanded list of national security factors that CFIUS should consider; and (3) mandatory disclosures of certain investments by state-owned enterprises,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (12/13/2017)

DEFENSE SECRETARY MATTIS:  “As the national security landscape changes, the existing process and authorities must be updated.  DoD depends on critical, foundational, and emerging technologies to maintain military readiness and preserve our technological advantage over potential adversaries.  FIRRMA would help close related gaps that exist in both the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and export control processes, which are not presently keeping pace with today’s rapid technological changes.” (12/15/17)