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Bush signs bill increasing national security review of foreign investments

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush signed the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 [PDF text; HR 556 materials] Thursday, expanding the investigative scope [press release] of the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder] to include foreign investments in vital infrastructure and energy and adding an additional 45-day review of proposed acquisitions from foreign state-owned entities. Under the new law, foreign investments subject to CFIUS review will require personal approval from the CFIUS chair and senior officials, while all proposed investments subjected to the 45-day review will require presidential authorization. The bill also tasks the Director of National Intelligence with the responsibility of providing a threat analysis of the foreign investments.

The bill stems from congressional criticism [JURIST report] of a proposed acquisition by United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World [corporate website] that would have allowed the company to manage six major US ports in early 2006. The deal eventually fell through [JURIST report], but prompted Congress to pass the legislation to increase the level of scrutiny of foreign investment proposals. AP has more.

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