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CRS Report: The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Author: James K. Jackson
February 23, 2006

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The proposed acquisition of six major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has sparked intense concerns among some Members of Congress and the public and has reignited the debate over what role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security. While the United States actively promotes internationally the policy of relaxing rules concerning foreign investment, including the national treatment of foreign firms, some in Congress and others question some aspects of this policy as it relates to allowing foreign competitors unlimited access to the Nation's industrial base. Much of this debate focuses on the activities of a relatively obscure committee, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Exon-Florio provision, which gives the President broad powers to block certain types of foreign investment.

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