USA tightening scrutiny of foreign investment, United States News & Top Stories

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Trump also said that upon final passage of the legislation, he will direct his administration "to implement it promptly and enforce it rigorously, with a view toward addressing the concerns regarding state-directed investment in critical technologies".

President Donald Trump opted instead to rely on legislation to enhance the powers of the committee known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or CFIUS, which reviews proposed acquisitions of USA assets by foreign investors.

President Trump on Wednesday softened proposed limits on China's right to invest in USA technology companies, the latest sign of an on-again, off-again trade war that is raising doubts about his ability to wring concessions from Beijing.

The legislation has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and top Trump administration officials endorsed the reform initiative earlier this year.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill to boost the authority of CFIUS, an interagency body that reviews potential foreign investment and is led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and to broaden the types of deals subject to oversight.

Since January, market volatility has become more commonplace, in part because of Trump's aggressive trade moves and the responses they elicit from major trading partners.

Trump's White House has charged Beijing with conducting predatory practices in an attempt to undermine the USA edge on technology, including cybertheft and forcing US companies to turn over technology in exchange for access to China's market.

Fears of a trade war are starting to affect financial markets, especially shares of the largest corporations that are exposed to global trends, he said.

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The comments ran counter to a May 29 White House statement that said: "The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology".

"It's never a good idea to politicize foreign economic policy", said John Zindar, a partner with the European-American Business Organization and a former U.S. Army intelligence officer. He has long accused other nations of exploiting poorly negotiated trade deals and of using unfair practices to sell America far more than they buy from it.

President Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who returned to the White House two weeks after being hospitalized for a mild heart attack, is interviewing candidates for two positions on the National Economic Council (NEC) that will be vacated in July.

Now the Trump administration is trying to force China to change its ways. The bill strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment. The Chinese don't want to play by the rules.

"After CFIUS' review, the President can block transactions found to pose a threat to the national security of the United States".

In endorsing what lawmakers call the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), Trump said it "will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity".

Mnuchin told reporters that the differences among Trump's advisers had been overblown.

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