The Canadian economy is heavily influenced by a magnitude of
foreign direct investment. Thus the Government established the
Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA) to screen incoming foreign
investments. The report addresses the following issues concerning
the agency and the possible necessity of establishing a similar one
in the United States: (1) the criteria used by FIRA to evaluate the
desirability of foreign investments; (2) FIRA policy goals and the
types of investments which have contributed the most to Canada's
national objectives; (3) the current administrative, policy,
enforcement, political, and other problems of FIRA; (4) data
gathering and use; (5) types of investigations FIRA makes, for what
goals and with what results; and (6) whether the review process is
needed in the United States. The study showed that there is not a
need for establishing a foreign investment screening agency in the
U.S. at this time. The reasons are: (1) such an agency would be
inconsistent with the longstanding U.S. policy to encourage the
free flow of trade and investment and to promote equal treatment of
domestic and foreign investors; (2) whereas foreign investors
control about 60 percent of the industrial firms in Canada, only
about 2 percent of U.S. manufacturing establishments are foreign
firms and no single foreign country has a large concentration of
investment; and (3) the United States already has methods to
monitor and control some foreign investment and many States have
additional controls. Instead, the effective implementation of
existing legislation, effective functioning of the interagency
Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and continued
congressional interest should all alert agencies and the Congress
to the need to further improve the monitoring and the regulation of
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