FIRST ON FOX: The Biden administration is proposing to tighten security around eight additional military installations across the country by requiring a strict review of foreign entities seeking to buy property around those facilities, Fox News Digital has learned.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is composed of several federal national security agencies, in charged with reviewing certain acquisitions and real estate transactions made by foreign. CFIUS is proposing to expand its jurisdiction to include military sites in North Dakota, South Dakota, California, Iowa and Texas, according to a U.S. official.
The proposed additions come after federal government officials, including some in the U.S. Air Force, warned of possible national security risks resulting from the purchase of land made by Chinese-owned Fufeng Group in North Dakota.
The official told Fox News Digital that the Department of Defense decided which bases to add based on an evaluation of current national security concerns. DOD is expected to continue to assess its military installations and the geographic scope around them to ensure appropriate application in light of those national security considerations.
When CFIUS looks at properly transactions involving non-U.S. persons, it is required by law to consider the risk of potential intelligence collection at military installations, which could expose national security activities and increase the risk of foreign surveillance.
The proposed sites to be added include: Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California; Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas; Ellsworth Air Force Base in Box Elder, South Dakota; Grand Forks Air Force Base in Grand Forks, North Dakota; Iowa National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa; Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas; and Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona.
If finalized, the proposed expansion would give CFIUS the authority to review any foreign individual purchasing land or real estate within a 100-mile radius of these bases. Reporting purchases to CFIUS, though, is a voluntary process, and some areas containing single family housing units would not be within CFIUS’ jurisdiction.
The rule is now in the notice and comment period for 30 days, during which Congress, stakeholders and the public can comment on the proposal before any changes are finalized.
CFIUS already has jurisdiction over approximately 200 military installations. Most of these are subject to a CFIUS review for transactions taking place within a 1-mile radius of the base, but CFIUS uses the 100-mile radius standard for 32 of these installations.
In 2022, the Chinese-owned Fufeng Group bought land in North Dakota and then later tried to build a corn mill on that property. Local officials rejected the proposal.
The Chinese company paid $2.3 million to purchase 300 acres of land just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, home to top secret drone technology. Grand Forks Air Force Base is included as one of the new additional military installations covered.