Treasury Issues New Rules For Tougher Foreign Transaction Reviews

12 Octobre, 2018, 03:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Mark Wilson  Getty Images North America

The U.S. government has long had the power to block foreign investments in certain American companies if it deemed the investments could pose a national security threat, but the new powers would expand the government's reach to minority, non-controlling stakes.

A sign marks the U.S Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., August 6, 2018. But in June, Trump made a decision to back Congress' effort to tighten existing investment restrictions by increasing the powers of the existing Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS.

The new provisions are part of a pilot program authorized by a bipartisan bill, signed in August, created to strengthen CFIUS's ability to block deals that might threaten national security.

The new rules don't prohibit foreign investments in USA companies, but they require investors to notify the government that they are seeking to take a non-controlling stake, giving the Treasury Department the opportunity to review any deal.

The 27 industries include telecommunications and semiconductors as well as aircraft manufacturing, including engines and engine parts, aluminum production, computer storage devices, guided missiles and other military equipment.

Investments in these sectors must be reported to the committee if the foreign investor's role would allow access to non-public information or afford power to nominate a board member or make other substantial decisions, the department said.

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The Treasury Department on Wednesday said it would soon begin imposing new limits on foreign investment in USA technology, giving President Trump new powers in his trade battle with China.

The pilot program is scheduled to begin on November 10 and run for more than a year while formal, permanent rules are being written, a senior administration official said.

The interim regulations would likely lead to more filings with the committee, said Sylwia Lis, of the law firm Baker McKenzie. "It has a significant impact", she said.

The official said the rules did not target a particular country, but CFIUS, an intergovernmental panel overseen by the Treasury, has blocked takeovers by Chinese investors.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as Trump, have alleged the Chinese government uses Chinese entities to seek footholds in US technology through investments and other partnerships, and the pilot program could put stricter boundaries around future deals.

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