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U.S. to expand control of land sales to foreigners near 56 additional military sites

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. wants to expand a Treasury committee’s jurisdiction to review land sales near U.S. military sites where foreigners are the buyers.

New Treasury rulemaking would expand the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ powers to review land sales near 56 additional military sites, bringing the overall number to 227 military sites.

A 2018 law granted the committee authority to review real estate transactions near sensitive sites across the U.S.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is a little-known but powerful government committee also known as CFIUS — tasked with investigating corporate deals for national security concerns that holds power to force companies to change ownership structures or divest completely from the U.S.

It is made up of members from the State, Justice, Energy and Commerce departments among others.

The Monday rulemaking announcement comes after President Joe Biden in May issued a divestment order blocking a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining firm from owning land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base, calling its proximity to the base a “national security risk.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement that the Biden administration is “committed to using our strong investment screening tool to defend America’s national security, including actions that protect military installations from external threats.”

In May 2023, rulemaking began to give CFIUS the power to review land sales near military bases after controversy arose over plans by the Fufeng Group to build a $700 million wet corn milling plant about 12 miles from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, which houses air and space operations.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 30 days.

The U.S. has already issued major new tariffs on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar equipment and medical supplies imported from China.

By FATIMA HUSSEIN
Associated Press

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