May 23, 2018 - Regulatory

Revised CFIUS Bill Receives Unanimous Approval in House and Senate Committees; Increases Export Controls for “Critical Technologies”

Legislation that would substantially overhaul the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) received unanimous committee approvals in the House and Senate today. The proposed legislation (known as “FIRRMA,” for the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018) was initially introduced last fall.[1] Its major provisions include enhancements to CFIUS’s enforcement authorities and a particular focus on high-tech sectors and “critical technologies.”

The new versions of the bill in the House and Senate have removed one of the more controversial portions of the legislation, which would have given CFIUS the authority to review certain contributions by U.S. “critical technology companies” of their intellectual property to foreign companies through arrangements such as joint ventures. Although that provision has now been removed, FIRRMA may still restrict certain outbound transactions by U.S. companies through new provisions strengthening the U.S. export controls regime. The legislation could be passed by Congress and signed by the president as early as this summer.

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