Defense Trade: Implementation of Exon-Florio

GAO-06-135T Published: Oct 06, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 06, 2005.
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The 1988 Exon-Florio amendment to the Defense Production Act authorizes the President to suspend or prohibit foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies that may harm national security, an action the President has taken only once. Implementing Exon-Florio can pose a significant challenge because of the need to weigh security concerns against U.S. open investment policy--which requires equal treatment of foreign and domestic investors. Exon-Florio's investigative authority was delegated to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Committee)--an interagency committee established in 1975 to monitor and coordinate U.S. policy on foreign investments. In September 2002, GAO reported on weaknesses in the Committee's implementation of Exon-Florio. This review further examined the Committee's implementation of Exon-Florio.

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