The Waiting Game: When, Why, and How to File with CFIUS in a New Era of Investment Scrutiny

The other day I spoke to a colleague at the U.S. Department of the Treasury who works in the Office of Investment Security and said, “I heard CFIUS filings were going to break last year’s record total.” He just laughed. He said the OIS received one hundred and seventy-some filings in 2016, the most they had ever received in a year.

This year, only in November, they were over two 225 submissions!

Of course, all of this was just talk and should not be relied on for statistical analysis. But it gives you a good idea of the flood of CFIUS filings that the Committee is now tasked with reviewing. While my contact was sanguine on the possibility of adding some new folks soon to his office soon, he noted that the OIS staff – whom he called the best of the best – has not yet been increased to meet the surge in demand.

So what does this mean for your inbound investment into the United States? We explore that question and provide a few tips below. In addition to a present snapshot of CFIUS, we have a look at the future of CFIUS as a proposed Senate bill aims to increase scrutiny on foreign investment. Continue Reading

The Future of CFIUS: Perhaps Not So Happy a New Year

‘Tis the season to wonder, what will 2018 bring? We may speculate on things like a private company making a moon landing or a peace accord with North Korea. We may be certain of things like well-intentioned gym memberships and a host of new-you products.

Somewhere between speculation and certainty we find the U.S. Government’s scrutiny of foreign direct investment in the United States. The recently proposed Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reform introduced in Congress sheds some light on the future of CFIUS reviews. Continue Reading

CFIUS for Europe? New Screening of Foreign Direct Investments in Europe

On September 13, 2017, the EU Commission released a proposed regulation establishing a framework for screening Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Europe. Several EU Member States have already implemented national mechanisms enabling them to intervene in transactions that the States believe endanger their national interest. However, there is no harmonized regime for reviewing FDI into the EU other than the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR). The EUMR focuses only on competition and does not take into account security or public order concerns. This new proposal addresses the more political notion of “national security”. Continue Reading

FARA and the First Amendment: How will the United States Calibrate its Response to Foreign Propaganda?

Remember how we talked about bipartisan legislation introduced in March 2017 (which seems like a million years ago) to investigate the Russian media outlet RT for spreading propaganda without registering as a foreign agent? Since then, you might have seen (including in our blog, here) the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) starting to rise from obscurity. Continue Reading

Retrenchment on Cuban Sanctions; The Search for a Middle Ground

The Trump Administration has made good on its promise to cut back on the liberalized Cuban policy implemented by the Obama Administration with a new regime that introduces new travel restrictions as well as broad prohibitions on “direct financial transactions” between persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and parties on a new Cuban Restricted List (CRL) that has been published by the State Department. Continue Reading

News Flash: Kleptocrats Still Taking Bribe Money With One Hand and Laundering it With the Other

The summer of 2017 saw the U.S. Department of Justice’s docket still teeming with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases. In this post, we draw a few lessons from three of them, which bring together three threads that seem often to weave together: bribery, kleptocracy, and money laundering. Continue Reading

Today, President Trump Decertified the Iran Deal and Announced Tougher Sanctions on Iran

HERE WE ANSWER A FEW OF THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE

What does decertification mean?

For the time being, decertification is a solely U.S. issue. Under the Iran nuclear agreement (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S. and UN sanctions. Soon after the JCPOA was signed, the U.S. Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA). That law requires the president to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is meeting the terms of the nuclear agreement and that continuing to waive sanctions on Iran is vital to the security interests of the United States. Today, he decertified Iran under INARA on the grounds that continuing to waive sanctions is not in the national security interests of the United States. Continue Reading

Growing Pains for Expanding Tech Companies: Uber Investigated for FCPA Violations

On August 29, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is considering an investigation into Uber, the San Francisco-based technology company that has expanded its ride-sharing service abroad to more than 70 countries. Press reports indicate that DOJ may investigate potential violations by company personnel of the U.S. law against foreign bribery, known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). On the same day, the company confirmed the review and said that it was cooperating with the Justice Department on the matter. Continue Reading

The United States Munitions List: When Guns Come Off of the ITAR

In our blog shop, most of the news we scan is the nerdy minutia of regulatory nuance. But the other day, we found big news, a real scoop. The ITAR will be rewritten to remove guns and ammunition from its control.

Yes, you read that correctly, a plan has been proposed within the State Department to migrate the first three categories of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the control of the Export Administration Regulations within the coming year. Whether the State Department will go so far as to rename ITAR Part 121 the United States Munitions List (USML), the “United States List” remains to be seen. Continue Reading

North Korea Sanctions Continue to Intensify

On September 11, 2017, the UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea. The move came only days after Pyongyang launched an underground nuclear test that may have been the detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The American Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, announced the new sanctions by declaring that “today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea.” Continue Reading

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