Thursday, March 08, 2007

Who Should Own America?

Remember Dubai? Some big money interests there tried--and failed miserably--to buy a large chunk of America's ports a year ago. Well, now Congress is finally coming to grips with the basic problem raised at the time: Just who should own America--or at least some of its most strategic assets?

Sane voices in the House of Representatives prevailed in passing legislation that would make easy-to-swallow changes to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the federal panel charged with reviewing foreign acquisitions of domestic assets for national security threats.

The bill, which had 58 bipartisan cosponsors and passed the House unanimously, bolsters government scrutiny of foreign investment in companies operating in the United States. Specifically, it intensifies the investigation of acquisitions involving foreign governments and requires CFIUS to share its findings with the Director of National Intelligence. It also allows Congress to be notified after an investigation is complete and requires the Treasury and Homeland Security Departments to approve some deals.