TAPP Supports REINS Amendment to Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA)

Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity (TAPP) urges the Senate Banking Committee to include the amendment to S. 2098, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2017 (FIRRMA), that includes the REINS Act, during floor consideration. The REINS act provides Executive Branch accountability and ensures fair access to legitimate foreign investment in our economy.

Under past administrations, regulatory power of the “administrative state” has been consistently expanded; creating new rules and regulations that result in burdensome compliance costs and weakened economic growth, and hamper America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. The growth of the federal “administrative state” and regulation by unelected bureaucrats, has also shifted the power away from Congress and the people, which is in direct opposition to the checks and balances prescribed in the U.S. Constitution.

Responding to Executive Branch agency overreach, the REINS Act has been introduced in every session since the 111th Congress. Currently, 38 Senators and 160 members of the House have cosponsored the measures (S.21 and H.R. 26). A FIRRMA-specific REINS Act would require congressional approval to rules created by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that would have an annual economic impact greater than $100 million. The REINS Act amendment will inject needed accountability to an unelected bureaucracy.

FIRRMA is designed to effectively prevent the transfer of sensitive technology to American adversaries. Unfortunately, it also provides CFIUS broad and far-reaching power to define mergers, acquisitions, and transactions involving foreign investors, which creates the potential for regulatory overreach. Yes, CFIUS must guard against threats to U.S. security interests, but it should not be weaponized to erect barriers to legitimate foreign investment or to insulate domestic firms from competition. CFIUS must not be in the business of choosing winners and losers in the U.S. economy.

Applying the REINS Act-amended FIRRMA to the CFIUS will help to insure that regulation of foreign investment will be narrowly tailored to address malicious behavior by foreign nationals, as Congress intended. TAPP asks the Senate Banking Committee to include the REINS language as part of FIRRMA to provide increased oversight of, and accountability for, government regulators.

Ainsley Shea