Monday, July 15, 2024

U.S. to increase oversight of foreign land purchases near 56 new military sites | WGN Radio 720

U.S. Seeks to Expand Oversight of Land Sales Near Military Sites

The U.S. Treasury Department is taking steps to expand the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review land sales near U.S. military sites where foreign buyers are involved. This move comes in response to national security concerns surrounding sensitive military installations.

The new Treasury rulemaking would increase CFIUS’ jurisdiction to include 56 additional military sites, bringing the total number of sites under review to 227. The committee was originally granted authority in 2018 to assess real estate transactions near sensitive sites across the country.

CFIUS, a government committee composed of members from various departments, investigates corporate deals for potential national security risks and has the power to compel companies to alter their ownership structures or divest from the U.S. entirely.

The announcement of the expanded powers comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s divestment order in May, which blocked a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining firm from acquiring land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base, citing national security concerns.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the Biden administration is committed to using all available tools to safeguard America’s national security, including protecting military installations from external threats.

In response to past controversies, such as the proposed construction of a milling plant near the Grand Forks Air Force Base, the Treasury Department initiated rulemaking in May 2023 to allow CFIUS to review land sales near military bases.

The proposed rule will undergo a 30-day public comment period before finalization. This latest development is part of a broader effort by the U.S. government to strengthen national security measures and protect critical infrastructure from foreign influence.

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