Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced today that three of her amendments to protect American companies, military bases and democratic institutions from foreign threats were included in the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, which was reported out of committee today. S.2098 would protect US businesses and military bases from undue foreign interference, through the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Cortez Masto’s amendments strengthen protections that ensure foreign entities can’t use investment as a tool to steal intellectual property from American companies illicitly or collect intelligence on U.S. military bases, in Nevada or anywhere else in the country.
“Foreign investments help grow our economy and promote job creation, but they must be met with responsible oversight in order to ensure our enemies can’t use them to undermine our national security,” said Cortez Masto. “In Nevada, our military leaders have told me time and again that we are not doing enough to stop countries like China from spying on the training they do in our great state. That’s why adopting these amendments is a top priority for me.”
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency committee, led by the Treasure Department, that reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S businesses that might negatively impact the United States. Senate bill 2098, also known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018, aims to modernize the CFIUS review process by giving the CFIUS more power to oversee transactions between foreign businesses and U.S. businesses that could give foreign individuals access to emerging technologies or critical infrastructure.
Senator Cortez Masto has offered the following amendments to the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018:
- Amendment #31:
- This amendment requires CFIUS to include a report on any attempts to skirt the CFIUS review process in its classified annual report to Congress.
- Amendment #32:
- This amendment requires the Secretary of the Treasury to brief the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on CFIUS transactions that would have allowed foreign individuals or entities to inappropriately influence democratic institutions and processes in the United States. This amendment begins a conversation on how CFIUS can monitor foreign attempts to influence U.S. media, academic and business institutions.
- Amendment #33:
- This amendment alters the definition of “covered real estate transaction” to include purchases that could reasonably be used to collect intelligence on national security-related installations. This amendment will ensure that Nevada’s military instillations are protected from all real estate purchases that could threaten the integrity of the base.