CHARLOTTE – A bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday gave final approval to Congressman Robert Pittenger’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which protects America’s critical national security technology and infrastructure from malicious foreign investment.
The Senate is expected to give final approval next week, with President Trump signing the measure into law shortly afterwards.
“For years, China and other adversarial nation-states have vacuumed up critical American security-related technology and infrastructure through targeted business investments, especially in the areas of emerging technology,” said Congressman Pittenger. “China has also forced American companies to share military-applicable technology through strategically-designed joint ventures. America’s Cold War-era safeguards weren’t able to combat this national security threat.
“For over two years, and through countless meetings and briefings and hearings, my office and I worked to carefully reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, identifying and developing solutions to loopholes. Our final product, which passed this week, strengthens America’s national security while continuing to allow beneficial foreign investment.”
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is the government organization tasked with evaluating the national security risks of potential foreign investments. However, CFIUS has not been substantially updated in many years.
Congressman Pittenger’s legislation:
*Expands CFIUS and export control jurisdictions to cover 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.
Congressman Pittenger’s legislation was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House by a vote of 359-54.
Congressman Pittenger’s legislation, which he introduced in partnership with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, has been endorsed by The White House, Defense Secretary Mattis, and five former Secretaries of Defense.