Letter Supporting H.R. 556, the "National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007"
July 9, 2007
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 556, the "National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007," which is expected to be considered by the House under suspension of the rules tomorrow. This bipartisan bill would make certain that the process for vetting proposed foreign investments in the U.S. meets national security objectives while preserving an open, fair, and non-discriminatory investment environment. Passage of this bill sends the right signals to international investors: that the U.S. is open for foreign investment and that the nation's trade competitors should follow suit and keep their doors open to U.S. foreign direct investment.
The Chamber believes that H.R. 556 strikes the appropriate balance between keeping Americans safe and protecting the economy. The proposed reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) make clear that the administration has the flexibility to devote time and resources on foreign investment deals that require the most attention to national security concerns, while allowing acquisitions that do not present any national security concerns to move forward without impediment.
Foreign direct investment supports employment for 5.1 million Americans, who typically earn compensation well above the national average. Investment from abroad supports 19% of all U.S. exports. In 2005, a number of foreign-owned companies reinvested $59 billion in profits back into the U.S. economy. Clearly, this bill will help maintain America's competitive edge and continue to contribute positively to the U.S. economic growth.
The Chamber applauds the bipartisan effort that resulted in the completion of this bill. H.R. 556 will restore congressional confidence in the CFIUS process. The Chamber urges the House to support this critical bipartisan bill with a strong affirmative vote. The Chamber will consider using votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten