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City still waiting on word from CFIUS for review of proposed Fufeng plant

The committee – commonly known as CFIUS – has been reviewing the company, which has ties to China, since October for any potential risks to national security

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A Fufeng USA sign is draped across the front end of a bulldozer at the proposed site of the corn wet milling and bio-fermentation products manufacturer on the north end of Grand Forks, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.
Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Though the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States was expected Monday to release preliminary findings regarding a corn mill plant proposed by Fufeng USA, the city has not heard anything yet as of Monday evening.

The committee — commonly known as CFIUS — has been reviewing the company, which has ties to China, since October for any potential risks to national security. While the initial review period is expected to last approximately 45 days, City Administrator Todd Feland previously told the Herald that CFIUS can request an additional 45 days for further review.

In September, the city paused all Fufeng-related construction after CFIUS said more information is needed before it can determine whether the agribusiness poses a risk to national security, especially considering its proximity to Grand Forks Air Force Base. Security has been a chief concern for many opponents, including U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who spoke about national security implications in a broadcast interview in October.

“Both Senator (John) Hoeven, my North Dakota colleague who’s importantly a defense appropriator, and myself — on the Senate Armed Services Committee — we both believe strongly that Grand Forks should reject this opportunity and look somewhere else,” Cramer said during the interview with Newsmax. “We’re more than happy to help them find a better tenant for that land than Fufeng and the [Chinese Communist Party].”

Feland indicated Monday night that the city is anticipating receiving those findings Tuesday, Dec. 13.

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READ MORE FUFENG NEWS
More than a year after it was first announced, the council on Monday voted 5-0 to move away from the Fufeng project. Council members Kyle Kvamme and Tricia Lunski did not attend the meeting.

Related Topics: FUFENG
Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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“The Department of the Air Force deferred to the Department of the Treasury during the (CFIUS) review to assess potential risks associated with the proposed project,” the spokesperson said.