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Bush issues executive order on increased security review of foreign investments

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush issued an executive order [text; press release] Wednesday "reforming how the United States reviews national security concerns that may arise from foreign investments." The executive order is designed to implement the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 [PDF text; HR 556 materials], which expands the investigative scope of the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) [official website] to include foreign investments in vital infrastructure and energy and adding an additional 45-day review of proposed acquisitions from foreign state-owned entities. 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 law, passed by Congress [JURIST report] in July, 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. The Washington Times has additional coverage.

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