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Lawmakers Advance Bipartisan Outbound Investment Screening Bill

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Senate and House lawmakers are advancing a bipartisan bill that would direct U.S. investors and companies to disclose outbound investments in countries considered as adversaries as part of efforts to rebuild supply chains and safeguard critical U.S. technologies, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, first proposed the bill, which would authorize the executive branch to establish an interagency panel to evaluate and ban foreign investments on the grounds of national security and is part of a larger legislative package aimed at strengthening U.S. competitiveness with China, according to a revised draft of the bill obtained by WSJ.

Creating an outbound investment review mechanism is a critical tool as Congress works to provide guardrails on taxpayer funds and safeguard our supply chains from countries of concern, including the People’s Republic of China,” Casey, Cornyn and five House lawmakers said in a statement Monday.

The bill would allow the federal government to block certain transactions in any “country of concern,” including joint ventures that involve the transfer of intellectual property, private equity and other capital contributions, construction of new facilities and other greenfield investments.

According to the measure’s text, the legislation would direct U.S. entities and affiliates to inform the government of activities in China involving technologies and sectors that are deemed critical to supply chains.

These include semiconductors, rare-earth elements, artificial intelligence, hypersonics, autonomous systems, financial technologies, quantum computing, biotechnology and large-capacity batteries.