On Sept. 24, the Federal Register published two proposed rules from the U.S. Treasury Department governing the implementation of provisions from the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA).
Latest in Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS)
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) protects U.S. national security by regulating against attempts by foreign commercial efforts to obtain control in a U.S. trade or business.
This is the fourth post in a series. Read the first three parts here, here and here.
After several months of back-and-forth, the Senate and House of Representatives agreed on a consensus version of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) on July 23. FIRRMA reforms the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process currently used to evaluate and address national security-related concerns related to foreign investment into the United States.
If one defines technology as anything that extends human capability, it takes only a short logical leap to conclude that nearly any advantage in technological capability over a competitor entails potential military advantage over that competitor.
Since its creation by President Gerald Ford, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has acted as a gatekeeper, working to ensure that foreign acquisitions do not impair U.S. national security.
The latest instance of "what-aboutism" is the House Republican decision to open an investigation of the Uranium One transaction—the allegation that Hillary Clinton transferred control of 20% of America's uranium mining output to a Russian company, in exchange for substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation from the executives of that same Russian company.
Congress may soon consider legislation reportedly being drafted by Senator Cornyn that could heighten scrutiny of Chinese investments in artificial intelligence and other sensitive emerging technologies considered critical to U.S. national security interests.
Last month, Tesla announced that it sold a 5% stake to Tencent, a Chinese conglomerate that might best be described as a cross between Facebook and Zynga, with the Huffington Post, Pay-Pal (two Pay-Pals, to be precise), and VC-giant Andreissen-Horowitz thrown in for good measure.
Tesla and Tencent executives did not have travel far to hammer out the details—both are located in Palo Alto. Tesla has been a fixture in Silicon Valley since its 2003 founding, while Tencent opened its U.S. outpost a few blocks from Stanford’s campus in 2010.