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US Lawmakers Agree on Bill to Block Some Investment in China

Some 43% of US investment in China over past two decades could have been subject to screening under new rules.

US President Joe Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in July the government was working on new investment screening.

A group of lawmakers from both parties in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate said on Monday they have agreed on a new bill that will give the US sweeping new powers that will allow it to block billions of dollars in new US investment in China.

“The refined proposal released today has bipartisan, bicameral support and addresses industry concerns, including the scope of prospective activities, industries covered, and the prevention of duplicative authorities,” said US Senators Bob Casey and John Cornyn, and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Michael McCaul, Brian Fitzpatrick and Victoria Spartz, in a statement.

The outbound investment measure was originally proposed as a standalone bill by Republican Senator John Cornyn and Democratic Senator Bob Casey, but was later added to the House version of a massive bill that includes grants for chipmakers and is aimed at countering China’s rise.


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The concept behind the measure has support within the Biden administration, indicating he is likely to sign it if Congress passes it. US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in July the government was working on new investment screening and considering outbound investment as it seeks to better position the US to compete in technology.

A study by Rhodium said 43% of US foreign direct investment transactions in China over the past two decades would have been subject to screening under the broad categories set out by the original proposal.

  • Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath



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Neal McGrath

Neal McGrath is a New York-based financial journalist. Neal started his career covering the Asia-Pacific region for the Economist Intelligence Unit, then joined Asian Business magazine. He's subsequently held a variety of editorial positions covering business, economics, finance and sustainability. Neal has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and the US.


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