US lawmakers want Biden’s order to strengthen oversight of outbound investment in China

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WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to issue an executive order to strengthen oversight of investments by U.S. businesses and individuals in China and other countries.

Lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn, have urged Biden to issue an order to “protect our national security and supply chain resiliency. on outward investment to foreign adversaries.

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Congress has been considering legislation that would give the U.S. government sweeping new powers to block billions of U.S. overseas investments in China. The proposal was removed from bipartisan legislation to subsidize US semiconductor chip manufacturing and research in a bill approved in August.

Lawmakers, including Democrats Bill Pascrell, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, Sen. Bob Casey and Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick and Victoria Spartz, said in a letter to Biden that as negotiations continue, « our national security cannot afford to wait. »

They urged the president « to protect our national security and the resilience of our supply chain on outbound investment to foreign adversaries. »

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The White House had no comment.

In Washington, Chinese Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said, “The allegation that China is harming the interests of American workers is completely false.

The United States « should maintain the stability of global industrial and supply chains rather than going after China from time to time, » the official added.

White House national security official Peter Harrell said this month that the Biden administration has not made a final decision on a possible outbound investment mechanism regulating U.S. investment in China.

Harrell stressed that any measure targeting such investments should be closely tailored to address gaps in existing U.S. authorities and specific national security risks.

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“When we cede our manufacturing power and technological know-how to foreign adversaries, we harm our economy, our global competitiveness, American workers, industry, and national security. Government action on this front is long overdue to address the scope and scale of these grave risks we face as a country,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold an outbound investment hearing on Thursday that will include testimony from Cornyn, Casey and several former government officials, including Information Technology Industry Council Executive Vice Chairman Robert Strayer.

The bill aims to give the government greater visibility into U.S. investments. It would be mandatory to notify the government of investments that might fall under the new regulations, and the United States could use existing authorities to stop investments or mitigate risk. If no action is taken, the investment can go ahead. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Mark Porter and David Gregorio)



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