Software maker Oracle is backing bipartisan legislation that aims to toughen foreign investment rules amid increasing concern over Chinese efforts to buy U.S. high-tech companies, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The bills, which were introduced last week, would expand the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), allowing it to review smaller investments and add new national security factors, such as exposure of Americans’ Social Security numbers, for CFIUS to consider.
CFIUS, an inter-agency panel, reviews proposed transactions for national security concerns. CFIUS can recommend that a transaction be prohibited, but only the president can issue an order to stop or suspend a deal.
In a letter addressed to three senators who introduced the legislation, Oracle senior vice president Kenneth Glueck welcomed the identical bills in the Senate and House of Representatives.
“We appreciate the language is narrowly tailored to focus on specific national security concerns, distinguishing between investments that are financially motivated and investments that are strategically motivated, such as improving foreign military capabilities or other strategic objectives,” Glueck wrote in the letter to Republican Senators John Cornyn and Richard Burr and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
The House bill was introduced by Republican Representative Robert Pittenger, also with bipartisan co-sponsors.
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International Business Machines opposed the bills, arguing that they would bog down an already busy panel with routine transactions.
Cornyn has said he hoped for a Senate hearing on the bill before the end of the year and committee action soon after.