Positive Signs About Foreign Investment

By July 13, 2007Trade

For all the recent discouragement over Doha’s sputtering and the expiration of the president’s Trade Promotion Authority — don’t give up! — there are still some good things going on in the world of trade, writes Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy. Congress just passed S. 1610, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, a bill Anderson says “makes reasonable security reforms to the process of approving certain foreign acquisitions.”

In addition, the White House is sending clear signals that the United States welcomes foreign investment. The question is, will the interagency Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) respond to those signals, lowering unnecessary barriers to investment? Anderson:

In a world where nations compete to attract the type of investment that spurs job creation, innovation, and a higher standard of living, policies that encourage foreign direct investment are crucial. In 2006, congressional criticism of the Dubai Ports World deal led the CFIUS bureaucracy to tighten the process for foreign acquisitions. But now that Congress has passed a bill that specifies its intent on national-security-related reviews, it is up to officials in the agencies that comprise CFIUS to ensure a balanced process for approvals of foreign acquisitions.

Otherwise, this year’s positive developments on foreign investment will have gone for naught.

Good update on these issues from Anderson. The NAM also has a set of principles to guide foreign investment, which you read about here.

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