Congressman Robert Pittenger has expressed concerns over the risks trade-based money laundering present in investments by China and other countries in US businesses.

Pittenger is one of two North Carolina lawmakers pressuring Washington to review the powers of an inter-agency committee that decides how much control over a US business a foreign party can have.

Review call

Congressman Walter Jones and Pittenger have written a letter to the authorities calling for a review of the statutory and administrative authorities of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS).

The letter, which is signed by several more lawmakers, is the second Pittenger has written in recent months expressing concerns over Chinese acquisitions of US businesses.

Money laundering concerns

“There’s a lot of concerns, trade-based money laundering, a lot of factors go into China’s role and other countries, so I think we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to this,” Pittenger said.

“I feel like it’s really critical that we evaluate the scope and the mission of CFIUS, their process and what they should be engaged in and the issues that they should be addressing and how that – how that process should occur going forward,” he added.

No explanation

The congressman has not offered an explanation of how trade-based money laundering is a risk in Chinese investments, and the committee he wants reviewed has previously turned down investments.

In 2008, CFIUS blocked a US$2.2 billion attempted acquisition of Internet router manufacturer 3Com by Huawei Technologies of China and a US company, Bain Capital.

Huawei also backed away in 2011 from efforts to buy cloud-computing technology and hire employees from 3Leaf Systems after the committee raised several objections to the proposed deal.