Trump backs Congress in passing legislation to deter foreign acquisitions of key technologies

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he supports Congress to pass legislation to protect key technologies from acquisitions of foreign entities, signaling that Washington will not roll out additional executive actions to limit foreign investments for the moment.

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said Congress has made significant progress toward passing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) "that will modernize our tools for protecting the Nation's critical technologies from harmful foreign acquisitions."

"After reviewing the current versions of FIRRMA with my team of advisors -- and after discussing them with many Members of Congress -- I have concluded that such legislation will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity," he said.

He also urged Congress to pass and send him the legislation.

"I urge Congress to send me a strong bill as soon as possible and look forward to implementing it to protect America's security and prosperity," he said.

"Therefore, upon enactment of FIRRMA legislation, I will direct my Administration to implement it promptly and enforce it rigorously, with a view toward addressing the concerns regarding state-directed investment in critical technologies identified in the Section 301 investigation," he added.

Trump said that if Congress fails to pass the legislation, he would direct his administration to "deploy new tools, developed under existing authorities, that will do so globally."

Earlier on Wednesday, a senior US administration official said in a tele-conference that the US government, after months of evaluation, now believes that the modernized Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), rather than additional executive actions, is the best approach to protect critical US technologies.

The CFIUS is a multi-agency panel led by the US Treasury Department that reviews foreign purchases of American companies.

The White House warned earlier that the Treasury Department will roll out measures before June 30 to hold back Chinese entities from buying key US technologies.

The two Houses of Congress have passed their respective versions of FIRRMA. The bill now waits the passage of the two Houses and Trump's signing to become legislation. It is estimated that it will take several months before the legislation finally takes effect.






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