China Under the Microscope: The Role of CFIUS in Chinese Acquisitions of U.S. Assets


Any foreign investor’s plans to acquire U.S. companies, including their technology, strategic natural resources and defense-related assets are subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS or the Committee). At the present time, it is fair to say that there is a particular sensitivity at CFIUS to the Chinese acquisition of strategic U.S. assets.

CFIUS Basics

CFIUS was established by the U.S. Government in 1975, and is now formally authorized by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA). CFIUS is an interagency body charged with reviewing the effect of foreign mergers and acquisitions on the national security interests of the U.S. The Committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and includes representatives from 16 different federal agencies and departments, including Defense, Commerce and Homeland Security. Submitting a proposed foreign acquisition for CFIUS review is entirely voluntary; however, the failure to consider a CFIUS filing can result in the blocking of a deal or the later unwinding of a completed deal.

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