US Treasury Proposes Rule to Restrict Foreign Purchase of Land Near Military Bases – NECN | Pro IQRA News

US Treasury Proposes Rule to Restrict Foreign Purchase of Land Near Military Bases – NECN

 | Pro IQRA News

Pro IQRA News Updates.

Foreign citizens and companies would need US government approval to buy property within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of eight military bases, under the proposed rule change that follows a Chinese company’s attempt to build a factory near an air force base in North Dakota.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Investment Security is set to propose the law on Friday. It would give expanded powers to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which scrutinizes business deals between American companies and foreign investors and could block sales or force the parties to change the terms of an agreement to protect national security.

Controversy arose over the Fufeng Group’s plans to build a $700 million wet corn milling plant 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Grand Forks Air Force Base, which would house air and space operations.

As opposition to the project grew, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and US Senators John Hoven and Kevin Kramer, all Republicans, raised questions about the security risks and last July called on the federal government for an urgent review.

CFIUS told Fufeng in September that it was reviewing the proposal and ultimately concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to stop the investment.

The plans were eventually dropped after the Air Force said the plant would pose a significant threat to national security.

The new base will affect Grand Forks and seven other bases, including three associated with the B-21 Raider, the nation’s future stealth bomber. The Pentagon has gone to great lengths to protect its new, more advanced bomber from spying by China. The bomber will carry nuclear weapons and be capable of both manned and unmanned missions.

Six bombers are in various stages of production at Air Force Plant 42, located in Palmdale, California, while the other two bases will serve as future homes for the 100-aircraft stealth bomber fleet: Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.

National security concerns about the other bases were not immediately clear. Also on the list are Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, both training bases. Others selected for greater protection are the Combined Forces Command of the Iowa National Guard in Des Moines and Luke Air Force Base, located in Glendale, Arizona.

The Air Force was not immediately available for comment on why the eight bases were chosen.

CFIUS, a committee whose members come from the departments of State, Justice, Energy, and Commerce among others, already has the power to block property sales within 100 miles of other military bases under the 2018 law.

Hoeven said the CFIUS process for reviewing proposed projects needs to be updated.

Accordingly, China’s investments in the United States must be carefully scrutinized, particularly for facilities such as Grand Forks Air Force Base, which is a major national security asset that serves as command for all global air force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. It has an increasing role in space operations. American.”

In February, Andrew Hunter, Assistant Secretary of Air Defense, said in a letter to North Dakota officials that the military considered the project a security risk, but did not elaborate on what kinds of risks the Foving project might pose.

The letter prompted Grand Forks officials, who had initially welcomed the milling plant as an economic boon to the area, to withdraw support by denying building permits and refusing to connect the 370-acre (150 ha) site to public infrastructure.

Fufeng manufactures products for animal nutrition, food and beverage industry, pharmaceutical, health and wellness, oil and gas, and other industries. It is a leading manufacturer of xanthan gum. It denied that the factory was used for espionage.

The lawmakers also called for a review of foreign investment in agricultural land. Earlier this year, Sens. John Tester, D-Mount, and Mike Rounds, R.D. , legislation intended to prevent China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from acquiring US farmland.

“Countries like China that want to undermine America’s standing as the world’s leading economic superpower have no business owning property on our soil — especially near our military bases,” Tester said in a statement Thursday.