By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A group of lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn on Tuesday called on U.S. President Joe Biden to issue an executive order on outbound investments to China and others.
Congress has been considering legislation that would give the U.S. government sweeping new powers to block billions in U.S. investment into China. The proposal was removed from bipartisan legislation to subsidize U.S. semiconductor chips manufacturing and research in a bill approved in August.
The lawmakers, including Democrat Bill Pascrell and Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, said in a letter to Biden that as negotiations continue, "our national security cannot afford to wait," and said that the president should take immediate action "to safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries."
The White House and Chinese Embassy did not immediately comment.
White House national security official Peter Harrell earlier this month said that the Biden administration has not yet made a final decision on a potential outbound investment mechanism regulating U.S. investments in China.
Harrell stressed that any measure targeting such investments should be narrowly tailored to address gaps in existing U.S. authorities and specific national security risks.
"When we cede our manufacturing power and technological know-how to foreign adversaries, we are hurting our economy, our global competitiveness, American workers, industry and national security. Government action on this front is long overdue to address the scope and magnitude of these serious risks we face as a country," the lawmakers wrote.
The proposed legislation is intended to give the government greater visibility into U.S. investments. It would be mandatory to notify the government of investments that may fall under the new regulations, and the United States could use existing authorities to stop investments, or mitigate risk. If no action is taken, the investment can move forward.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Porter)