Donald Trump could block sale of OneWeb due to national security concerns

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The company, based in White City, London, manufactures in Florida. OneWeb is developing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit designed to deliver broadband signals around the world. It has launched 74 satellites to date, but ultimately aims to have thousands.Strauss said the sale could be reviewed by the U.S. Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS). US law, she writes, authorizes the president to investigate any agreement “made by or with a foreign person that could result in foreign control of any American business.”

If a foreign buyer wins Thursday’s auction for OneWeb, the committee will consider whether a sale could cause national security concerns, and then report its findings to the president, who could block or modify the purchase agreement.

The United Kingdom is one of the few countries – including Canada and Australia – whose activities are “whitelisted”, which means that they can buy minority stakes in sensitive companies under American law. If members of the consortium led by the British government come from other countries, this can trigger a CFIUS examination.

However, insiders said last night that they hoped that the rescue of OneWeb by the British government would be approved due to the cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom within the framework of the intelligence sharing alliance ” Five Eyes ”. If the British government purchases OneWeb, satellite manufacturing could move from Florida to the United Kingdom.

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