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Policy

Security Rule Targets Foreign Investments

April 28, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 17

The Treasury Department has proposed regulations to implement a new law tightening national security reviews of foreign investments in energy companies and other strategic U.S. businesses. Congress passed the Foreign Investment & National Security Act in July 2007 after China's national oil company attempted to buy Unocal and a Dubai-based firm won a contract to manage six of the largest U.S. ports. Both deals ultimately fell through after lawmakers complained that the interagency body responsible for monitoring U.S. policy on foreign investment had not fully considered security concerns that had been raised. The new rules are designed to ensure that high-ranking government officials, including the director of national intelligence, are included in decisions regarding the security implications of direct foreign investment. They also require national security reviews of prospective deals that involve critical infrastructure and energy. "These regulations reflect America's strong and continued commitment to safeguarding U.S. national security in a manner that reinforces the long-standing U.S. policy of welcoming foreign investment," Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Clay Lowery says. The Treasury Department will take public comment on the proposal for 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register and plans to issue a final rule later in the year.

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