Category Archives: CFIUS

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The CFIUS Book: Second Edition (Slight Delay)

The pandemic that has put our world a bit sideways has, as you might expect, set back our publication date. We should have paper copies of the (much anticipated) CFIUS Book: Second Edition available by mid-May 2020. However, because we have the text ready, we will publish a series of preview excerpts for your review … Continue Reading

The Emerging Landscape for Export Controls on Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Taking a break from reporting on COVID-19 legal developments, we turn for a moment to what is happening now on export control of autonomous vehicle technology. The autonomous vehicle R&D sector is booming, largely in the last three years. Companies are investing in sensor technology and machine learning, and creating pilot programs to test self-driving … Continue Reading

Where’d You Get Your Tech? New Rules May Allow the U.S. Government to Unwind Your Latest IT Transaction

On November 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a proposed rule that could change how you procure IT goods and services. The rule would allow the Commerce Department to review your company’s purchase of information and communications technology and services (ICTS), and to impose mitigation measures or unwind your transaction. Go ahead. Read … Continue Reading

Who’s the Boss? The CFIUS “Control” Definition for Global Venture Capital Funds

My VC Fund has U.S. and non-U.S. General Partners, will I need to file CFIUS declarations for every investment I want to make in tech, in infrastructure, or in a company with customers’ personal data? This is a critical question at the fore of concerns for diversified investment funds with foreign-person directors. There are more … Continue Reading

CFIUS Proposes Rules to Implement FIRRMA

Key Takeaways: Technology Infrastructure and Data. CFIUS will focus its review on investments in critical Technology, critical Infrastructure, and sensitive personal Data (“TID Businesses”). Critical technologies is defined to include certain items subject to export controls along with emerging and foundational technologies under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018. CFIUS provides a very helpful … Continue Reading

INTERNATIONAL TECH INVESTMENT ISSUE – Threats to Technology Investment from Global Politics: How to Succeed as Borders Tighten

Over the past year, the impact of international political risks on the global tech industry has been unprecedented.” – Tung Tzu-hsien, Chairman of iPhone’s Chinese assembly company, Pegatron Technology investment is getting harder. A few years ago, strategic and private equity technology acquisitions, multinational joint venture creation, and cross-border R&D collaboration were not only relatively straightforward, … Continue Reading

INTERNATIONAL TECH INVESTMENT ISSUE – Investments With Borders: CFIUS-Style Foreign Investment Review Goes Global

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS, is the U.S. government agency that conducts national security reviews of foreign direct investment in the United States. The CFIUS rules have been significantly tightened over time, which has created major obstacles, particularly to technology investments, and particularly for Chinese investors. But as investors turn … Continue Reading

The Traps of a CFIUS Like EU FDI Screening Mechanism

Finally, the much awaited harmonized screening framework of foreign investments into the EU (Regulation 2017/0224) has been agreed upon on 20 November 2018 by the EU Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The agreed package will ensure that the EU and its Member States are equipped to protect their “essential interests” while remaining “one of … Continue Reading

The Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies

Key Takeaways: Emerging technology sectors will soon be subject to new export controls. Affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance. New export controls on these sectors will likely require companies to obtain a license to export products to China and other … Continue Reading

FIRRMA Takes Form as CFIUS Enacts a New Pilot Program Targeting “Critical Technologies”

On October 10, 2018, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States put into effect the first mandatory filing requirement ever imposed by CFIUS. The Department of Treasury’s summary of the Pilot Program is available here. Effective November 10, 2018, CFIUS will require reviews of critical technology investments – including certain non-controlling investments – … Continue Reading

On FIRRMA Ground: Congress to Restrict Foreign Investment and Expand Export Controls

This week, there were reports that the Trump Administration would use emergency powers to restrict Chinese investment in the United States. On Wednesday, the White House backed away from that position after the House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday expanding and increasing the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United … Continue Reading

Another Day Another Tariff… and Other Recent Restrictions on China

In what has become his trademark Trumpian manner, the President announced last Friday that new tariffs and trade restrictions against China are on again, at the same moment that his senior Commerce and Treasury Department negotiators were trying to work out a deal in Beijing. This came just a handful of days after Department of … Continue Reading

The Great Wall Against China: Washington’s Barriers to a Wave of Capital from the Far East

Chinese investment in the United States plummeted in 2017 and is likely to continue to fall. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States declined 36% last year, from $46.2 billion in 2016 to $29.4 billion in 2017. We expect the 2018 figures to be even lower. What could … Continue Reading

Chips on Their Shoulders: CFIUS Intervenes in Broadcom’s Hostile Takeover Bid for Qualcomm

CFIUS takes an unprecedented step to fend off a potential foreign acquisition The threat that China will eclipse the U.S. in telecommunications infrastructure and technology is central to U.S. national security Five key takeaways from the most recent CFIUS action Since late 2017, Singapore-based semiconductor company Broadcom has been pursuing a $117 billion hostile takeover … Continue Reading

Seeking foreign investors for your tech startup? Congress says, “not so fast.”

The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would tap the brakes on foreign direct investment in the United States, particularly on investments in sensitive industries like artificial intelligence, robotics, and semiconductors. We know: you’re saying we already have that in the form of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (known as … 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 … 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 … Continue Reading

Predicting the Unpredictable: Foreign Investment Under the Trump Administration

CFIUS has the power to unwind your M&A deal. That power will likely expand. That is the headline. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews acquisitions by foreign parties of “critical industries” and “critical infrastructure” in the United States. The inter-agency committee’s actions warrant plenty of explanation, and you can find … Continue Reading
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