U.S. seeks to tighten security reviews of foreign investment

WASHINGTON, Sep 18 (XINHUA/APP):The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday proposed new regulations to tighten national security reviews of foreign investment in U.S. companies involved in technology, infrastructure and sensitive data.

“Today’s proposed regulations will provide clarity and certainty to investors regarding CFIUS’s enhanced authorities to address national security risks that arise from certain foreign investments, and continue modernizing the CFIUS process,” the country’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The CFIUS, or the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, is a multi-agency panel that reviews certain transactions involving foreign investment in U.S. companies based on national security.

The proposed regulations, which aim to comprehensively implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, will give the CFIUS greater power to review foreign transactions in critical technologies, infrastructure, sensitive personal data, and real estate, according to the Treasury Department.

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Interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the proposed regulations through Oct. 17, and a final version of the rule will take effect no later than Feb. 13, 2020, said the department.

Given the CFIUS’s excessive discretionary power and an absence of transparency in the review process, foreign investors are concerned that the proposed regulations could raise the risk of normal transactions being obstructed on the grounds of national security.

Economists have also warned that it is critically important that the United States remains an open market for foreign investments, which help economic growth and job creation in the country.

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