Opening Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel: "Foreign Investment & National Security Act of 2006"
There is no higher priority for our nation's lawmakers than national security. The reform of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) is critical to our national security. However, Congress must be aware of the unintended consequences of our actions. We must not send a signal to the rest of the world that we are uninterested in their business. That kind of a signal is dangerous to our economy and ultimately to our security. The legislation we are marking-up today protects our national security in a responsible way that does not jeopardize our competitive position in the world.
America has always responded to the challenges of global competitiveness. We see that standards of living have risen wherever barriers to trade and investment have fallen. This progress is unprecedented in the history of man.
I would like to thank the Chairman for accepting my two amendments in the bill. My amendments improve the efforts undertaken by Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Sarbanes and help ensure that America remains open to foreign investment - without sacrificing national security.
Under the Chairman's bill, any member of CFIUS could trigger a second 30 day review of any deal for any reason. My amendment, as accepted by the Chairman, would allow a second 30 day review if a member of CFIUS demonstrates that there is a national security concern.
My second amendment relates to provisions in the Chairman's mark that call for mandatory 45 day investigations. Under the bill, CFIUS must conduct a mandatory 45 day investigation of deals involving critical infrastructure. My amendment, also accepted by the Chairman, would only require a mandatory investigation if CFIUS demonstrates that there is a national security concern with a deal involving critical infrastructure.
Our country faces many difficult and complicated problems that will affect our country's competitive edge in the world. Today we have an opportunity to respond to that challenge, without letting partisan gamesmanship stand in our way.