Matheson Says National Security, Jobs Win In Foreign Investment Reform Bill
Washington DC-Congressman Jim Matheson said today's passage of a bill reforming an obscure committee that oversees foreign investment in the U.S. helps bolster national security while preserving opportunity for foreign investors who also create jobs here.
The National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2006-HR 5337-passed the House of Representatives today by a large bipartisan margin. The measure codifies the Committee on Foreign Investment into law and mandates that it ensure the protection of national security, through regular reporting to Congress. The rather obscure Committee gained attention early this year when it permitted Dubai Ports World-a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assume charge of commercial operations at six U.S. ports.
"Unlike in the past, where this committee operated in the shadows, this bill requires Congress to receive reports on its actions. In addition, Congress must be notified within 5 days of any extensive investigation or deal with a foreign government entity, "said Matheson. "If we learned anything from our past experience, it is that an open and transparent process should be the first order of business, when it comes to protecting Americans. At the same time, this bill preserves an open, fair and non-discriminatory investment environment for foreign businesses that provide more than 5 million jobs in this country."
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Matheson requested a Congressional hearing on the ports agreement decision by CFIUS. He also cosponsored today's legislation.