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27 Sep, 2022 17:09

Lawmakers push White House to screen US investment in China

Democrats and Republicans urge the Joe Biden administration to expand oversight, citing national security
Lawmakers push White House to screen US investment in China

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, are pushing the Biden administration to issue an executive order increasing government oversight of American investments in China, Politico magazine reported on Tuesday.

The report cited a letter from leading lawmakers, saying their legislation on the matter will need more time for review, and they are calling on the administration to issue an executive order in the interim.

“As deliberations continue in Congress, we urge your administration to move forward with executive action — which can then be bolstered by statutory provisions — to safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries,” wrote the lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The letter follows reports that the White House is preparing to issue an executive order this fall to monitor and potentially block outbound investment by American companies and investors.

The report indicates that both Congress and the White House have been considering separate initiatives that would increase the federal government’s ability to screen US investments in the Chinese economy for security risks.

The initiatives come amid growing concerns that US investment in China could help Beijing to dominate strategically important sectors, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

Earlier this month, media reported that the White House is considering steps to restrict US investment in Chinese technology companies, amid mounting tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. The White House is reportedly discussing with Congress possible legislation requiring US firms to give advance notice of investments in certain Chinese industries. Setting up a system allowing the government to block such investments outright is also being considered, according to the reports.

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