Mar 6, 2006
Contact: Josh Holly (202) 225-2539
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, today unveiled the National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2006, new legislation designed to protect domestic infrastructure critical to U.S. national security. The legislation would also block Dubai Ports World’s controversial deal to take over operations at U.S. ports.
“With this legislation, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security would be able to ensure our critical infrastructure, such as ports and energy facilities, is maintained by reliable and trusted American companies,” said Hunter. “This will reduce exposure to terrorism in some of our most vulnerable facilities. To those who say this is protectionism, I say – America is worth protecting.”
“The government is responsible for border security and protecting the American people. We cannot and must not pass the buck to the private sector,” said Saxton. “Those who claim the bill would violate free trade are missing a critical point. This is a national security issue – not an economic issue.”
Major provisions of the National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today, are:
Protect Critical Infrastructure. The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would ensure that infrastructure critical to national security is controlled by U.S. citizens. It would create citizenship and other requirements for companies that own, manage or operate national defense critical infrastructure. Any such corporation must be majority-owned by American citizens. The corporate management structure of these companies would undergo mandatory changes, such as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens; a majority of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens and the Secretary of Defense must approve the independent directors on, as well as the members of a government security committee of, the board of directors.
The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would require that the Secretary of Defense work with the Secretary of Homeland Security to prepare and maintain a national defense critical infrastructure list, which is defined as any system or asset – physical or virtual – that is so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such system or asset would have a debilitating effect on national security, economic security or public health and safety.
The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would stop Dubai Ports World’s controversial takeover of U.S. ports. The legislation includes a special rule that would stop a foreign-owned company from owning, operating or managing the U.S. ports implicated in the deal.
Reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) Process. The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would make mandatory a forty-five day investigation into transactions that may have national security implications. It would mandate the addition of several factors to be considered during the CFIUS process, such as the potential impacts on domestic production needed for homeland security, control of critical infrastructure and secure access to strategic natural resources like energy and critical minerals.
The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would require the President to create regulations that mandate written notification to the Administration of any merger, acquisition or takeover that may be subject to CFIUS review or investigation. The legislation would require such notifications to appear in the Federal Register.
Inspect One-Hundred Percent of Cargo. The National Defense Critical Infrastructure Protection Act would mandate one-hundred percent inspection of imported cargo. It would require an appropriate officer or employee of the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security or another employee of the United States to inspect all cargo coming into the United States to ensure that it complies with U.S. laws.