I have often noted, consistent with the Section 301 action initiated by the United States Trade Representative, that certain countries direct and facilitate systematic investment in United States companies and assets in order to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property in industries those countries deem important. Accordingly, I directed the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with other senior executive branch officials, to report to me regarding appropriate measures to address these concerns.
I have been advised by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, among others, that Congress has made significant progress toward passing legislation that will modernize our tools for protecting the Nation’s critical technologies from harmful foreign acquisitions. This legislation, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), will enhance our ability to protect the United States from new and evolving threats posed by foreign investment while also sustaining the strong, open investment environment to which our country is committed and which benefits our economy and our people.
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. 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.
Should Congress fail to pass strong FIRRMA legislation that better protects the crown jewels of American technology and intellectual property from transfers and acquisitions that threaten our national security—and future economic prosperity—I will direct my Administration to deploy new tools, developed under existing authorities, that will do so globally.
To further ensure a robust defense of American technology and intellectual property, I have also directed the Secretary of Commerce to lead an examination of issues related to the transfer and export of critical technologies. Through this review, we will assess our Nation’s export controls and make any modifications that may be needed to strengthen them to defend our national security and technological leadership. Additionally, I have directed the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the United States Trade Representative to engage with our allies and partners to support their efforts to combat harmful technology transfer and intellectual property theft.
I applaud Congress on its progress toward passing robust FIRRMA 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.