Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (Official White House photo by Evan Walker)

FIRRMA Pilot Program Essential to ‘Protect Critical Technologies,’ Says Ross

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that his department is “proud to work” with the Department of the Treasury “on a strong initial program to address threats to our national security from strategically motivated foreign investment,” a pilot that is the first step in the administration’s implementation of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act.

“The United States welcomes foreign investment in the technology industry and continues to be one of the most open countries in the world to foreign investors,” Ross said in a statement. “Still, we will not stand idly by as technology critical to national security is acquired or stolen by state actors seeking to gain a global strategic advantage.”

The pilot program expands the scope of transactions subject to review by CFIUS to include certain non-controlling investments made by foreign persons in certain U.S. businesses involved in critical technologies.

“Importantly, FIRRMA recognizes the need to protect critical technologies, including emerging and foundational technologies that are controlled pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) of 2018,” Ross said. “In tandem with the pilot program, the Department of Commerce is establishing a parallel rulemaking effort to identify, review, and potentially control emerging and foundational technologies.”

“A wide range of emerging and foundational technologies are essential to U.S. national security but are not yet subject to U.S. export controls,” he added. “The department will work with other U.S. government agencies to develop the first set of proposed emerging and foundational technology controls following public comment on a proposed rule.”

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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