Scrutiny of foreign investment applauded

Feb. 21, 2008 at 7:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. lawmakers said Thursday that scrutiny of deals involving foreign ownership of companies that could compromise national security is working effectively.

"Federal agencies are taking appropriate action to protect our national security," Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said in a statement.

Senate monitoring of foreign investment came under question after Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies announced withdrawal of their application to have a proposed purchase of the technology company 3Com subjected to federal review, The Hill newspaper reported.

A 3Com division sells security software to the Pentagon, the report said. Huawei Technologies, a Chinese telecommunications company supplier, on the other hand, was begun by a former Chinese military officer.

On balance is the issue of national security versus the ability to attract foreign investments.

"We don't see it as a sign of things to come in terms of chilling investment," Nancy McLernon, vice president of the Organization for International Investment told the newspaper.

On the flip side, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich, was critical of the deal for security reasons. "We must remain even more vigilant to ensure American national security is not for sale; and to stop communist Chinese stealth assaults on our national security," McCotter said in a statement.

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