Law and Policy -
The United States has had mechanisms in place to track and review foreign direct investment since 1975, when President Ford established the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). While those mechanisms were formalised and strengthened by statute in the 1980s, the current US approach regarding government oversight of foreign investment in the United States clearly stems from the events of 11 September 2001.
With the attacks on the World Trade Center, Americans were confronted with the reality that they were vulnerable to terrorist assaults on US soil, and the US government was faced with the policy choice of how to balance the economic need for open foreign investment with the national security need to protect US assets, particularly critical infrastructure. Politics and policy met head on a few years later, with the 2006 acquisition by Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of Dubai, of a firm that ran terminal operations at six US ports.
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