Bipartisan Group of House and Senate Leaders Calls on Biden to Regulate Outbound Investments

By Cathalijne Adams
Sep 27 2022 |
Photo by Russ Allison Loar via Flickr

The lawmakers urge President Biden to issue an executive order to institute outbound investment reviews.

A bipartisan group of Senate and House legislators is calling for an executive order to fortify America’s critical supply chains and national security “through increased transparency and oversight over outbound investments,” in a letter sent to President Biden on Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D- Penn.) John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), and Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) signed the letter.

Several of the members who signed are also lead sponsors of the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act (NCCDA), which would establish a review process for outbound investments and empower an inter-agency committee to conduct these reviews and block investments that threaten critical national capabilities. The NCCDA aims to enhance awareness of supply chain vulnerabilities and prevent offshoring of critical manufacturing, such as the production of medical supplies, electrical grid materials, and semiconductors.

In essence, the NCCDA would create the inverse of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which screens foreign investment in U.S. businesses. If passed, the NCCDA would mandate that U.S. firms in critical industries report planned investments in nations that are considered foreign adversaries, including China and Russia.

Previously, the NCCDA was proposed as a provision in the CHIPS and Science Act, but, as reported in the letter sent to the president, NCCDA sponsors are currently in the process of revising the bill. The lawmakers who signed Tuesday’s letter contend that though the legislation offers the “strongest foundation to compete in a global economy, American workers, businesses and our national security cannot afford to wait.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Biden administration was considering issuing such an action.

The members write in their letter:

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