The U.S. is reportedly discussing the possibility of subjecting Elon Musk’s companies to national security reviews.
What Happened: U.S. government and intelligence officials are weighing in on the possibility of using tools to review Musk’s multiple ventures and the talks are still at an early stage, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Among the options considered is the use of the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment to see whether Musk’s deals and operations pose national security risks, said the report.
Whether the CFIUS panel — drawing people from agencies such as the Department of State, Defense and Homeland Security — has the legal leeway to conduct a review is still not clear, it added.
The CFIUS panel does not usually disclose that a deal is being reviewed and the discussions happen behind closed doors, the report said.
Why It’s Important: The discussions concerning a potential review come against the backdrop of Musk hinting at stopping funding for supplying Ukraine with his SpaceX-owned venture Starlink’s satellite internet terminals. While confirming that SpaceX wrote a letter to Pentagon regarding the same, the Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO later said the company will continue to ship terminals to Ukraine free of cost.
Musk has also been locked in a battle over buying Twitter Inc. TWTR. The U.S. government is reportedly unhappy with the billionaire mobilizing financing from foreign high-net-worth individuals to consummate the deal.
The Bloomberg report also noted that Musk had previously sued the U.S. Air Force for gaining rights to compete with a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT and Boeing Company BA for defense contracts. Since then, Pentagon has sourced out several contracts worth millions of dollars to SpaceX.
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