EXCLUSIVE: GOP Rep Introduces Bill To Expose Foreign Investments In Hostile Countries By Universities

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens introduced legislation Tuesday to require private universities to report their financial partnerships with foreign countries, especially those that are hostile to America.

The Reporting on Investments in Foreign Adversaries (RIFA) Act, first obtained by the Daily Caller, would specifically require private universities with endowments above $6 billion or with investments of concern above $250 million to report on the following:

  • A list of investments of concern purchased, sold or held during the calendar year.
  • The aggregate fair market value of all investments of concern held as of the close of the calendar year.
  • The combined value of all investments of concern sold over the course of the calendar year, as measured by the fair market value of such investments at the time of the sale.
  • The combined value of all capital gains from sales of investments of concern.

Owens, who chairs the Higher Education and Workforce Development subcommittee, told the Caller before introducing the bill that he is concerned with “China and other foreign adversaries” who are determined to undermine U.S. interests.

“China and other foreign adversaries are determined to undermine America’s national interests and infect our political discourse,” Owens said. “There is a disturbing lack of accountability for private institutions with endowments funded by foreign countries aiming to maliciously influence America’s universities and higher education or undermine our national security. My bill, the latest step to counter foreign influence in U.S. higher education, will hold these universities accountable and root out malign foreign influence in U.S. higher education.”


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

The bill is a follow-up to legislation introduced earlier in October by California Rep. Michelle Steel and North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx. They introduced the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act. The legislation would specifically cut the foreign gift reporting threshold for colleges and universities from $250,000 down to $50,000, with an even stricter $0 threshold for countries of concern. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Introduce Legislation To Crack Down On Foreign Influence At US Universities)

“It is well past time for American universities to evaluate their financial ties to malicious foreign actors with a critical eye,” Foxx told the Caller, regarding Owens legislation. “The American people deserve to know if our wealthiest private institutions are benefitting from companies and countries of concern. Congressman Owens’ RIFA Act holds our institutions to a higher standard by requiring them to be more transparent about their investments and financial partnerships.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: J.D. Vance, Republican Senators Introduce Legislation To Crack Down On CCP Influence At US Universities)

If universities fail to comply with the reporting requirements, they will be hit with fines that are equal to the value of investments held and sold by the institution.