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Thursday, March 10, 2005


Update on the Chinese company Lenovo's offer to buy IBM's PC business: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, "a multi-agency group," has, according to Steve Lohr in today's New York Times, okayed the deal, which had rung alarm bells at the highest levels of the Bush administration and prompted "a full investigation, which occurs in far fewer than 1 percent of cross-border deals." The agency's deliberations are secret -- not much of a surprise there.
Steve Lohr, "Sale of I.B.M. Unit to China Passes U.S. Security Muster," New York Times, 3/10/05, C7.
The article ends on an interesting, rather cryptic note (perhaps due to poor editing?). The second-to-the-last paragraph offers a comment from a member of a Congressional group, suggesting that "Congress [should] . . . review the authority of the investment committee, which dates from the cold war [sic]." The last paragraph quotes an Illinois Republican who "plan[s] to push for hearings to see if the committee's role should be expanded to 'take more account of economic security as well as military security.'"

There's a slippery slope -- defining "economic security." It's difficult these days to discern a coherent Republican position on the role of government; or is this it: minimal in rhetoric; maximal (neo-mercantilist) in practice?

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