US DoD to Launch "Trusted Capital Marketplace" in December

  • Our Bureau
  • 03:30 AM, November 19, 2020
  • 2116
US DoD to Launch
Force Protection Industries making Cougar H 4x4 MARP. US DoD photo

The US Department of Defence (DoD) will launch its Trusted Capital Marketplace (TCM) initiative in December to match US technology firms in need of investment with investors without ties to adversarial nations (such as Russia and China).

Under TCM, an electronic marketplace will be set up to pair up cleared investors and US Aerospace and defence companies in need of investment. The DoD will be involved in matching up US businesses with investors that have been shown to not have ties to adversarial nations.

While plans are underway for a change in administration, officials within the Defense Department still have several goals they'd like to achieve. Among those is implementation of the "Trusted Capital Marketplace," Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said.

"[One] area that we want to bring over the finish line here is our trusted capital project," Ellen Lord said during an online discussion today as part of the three-day American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics ASCEND Summit. "We'd like to think the capital markets are very, very efficient. But we work with the Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to block or undo a lot of transactions where our adversaries are coming in and buying companies that are critical for our national technology initiatives."

The Trusted Capital Marketplace project is a department effort meant to both support the defense industrial base and limit adversary nation access to American technology. The effort is in response to a mandate by Congress laid out in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

US DoD to Launch
Ellen Lord, US undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment

Within the Trusted Capital Marketplace, "What we want to do is instead of driving companies, or driving people trying to sell real estate to these adversarial and nefarious kinds of actors out there, we want to be able to partner people with clean money with companies where we understand the beneficial ownership and grow that capability for the betterment of our national security and economic security," Lord said.

"What we're doing is clearing people with money, investors, and then companies that have critical technology for the Department of Defense, and giving them a place where they can get together and talk and hopefully do some deals," she said.

Lord said she expects the Trusted Capital Marketplace to be available in December. "We are literally just going through federal paperwork right now to launch this," she said. "I'm really excited about our Trusted Capital Marketplace."

In the past, the US has blocked investment from companies linked to China for fear of them controlling high tech products that go into the defence eco-system. 

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