According to the bill’s authors, it will “require the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to consider whether a foreign person that is a party to a transaction undergoing review by the Committee is connected to a foreign country that has installed information and communications technology designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned or controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of, a foreign adversary, and for other purposes.”
It was introduced in the Senate on March 4, 2020. It is sponsored by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
It was introduced in the House on March 9, 2020. It is sponsored by Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Jim Bakes (R-IN), Scott Perry (R-PA), and William Timmons (R-SC).
VERDICT: RNR approved
Quite simply, this bill would require the Committee on Foreign Investment to investigate if a foreign national seeking to do business in the United States is acting as an enemy agent for a foreign adversary.
The potential consequences of this bill’s passing is considerable. Once the President signs the bill into law, he has 180 days “to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing whether and how the United States Government is coordinating with close trade and investment partners of the United States to develop alternatives to fifth-generation, or future-generation, mobile telecommunications infrastructure supported by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.” This could potentially mean that if a foreigner seeking to do business in the United States has clear and explicit ties to the Chinese government, they could be denied investing in the United States if deemed a national security risk by the various congressional committees.
The bill’s summary uses general terms like “foreign person” and “foreign country”, however, the “foreign country” in mind is clearly China. China is the United States’ single greatest geopolitical foe in the 21st Century. From global currency manipulation to an expansionist foreign policy in the South China Sea, the foreign policy threat that China presents to US interests is evident. On the domestic front, Chinese nationals have been buying up property in the US and most recently an oil field in Texas. US intelligence officials report that American universities are a soft target for Chinese spies. Thus, it is reasonable to suspect that Chinese land purchases and conducting commerce with the US by Chinese nationals could be a front for Chinese espionage against the United States.
Thus, Republicans For National Renewal highly recommends and endorses passing S. 3386 and H.R. 6152, two common-sense bills to counter possible Chinese efforts to subvert and sabotage the United States.