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US Treasury Seeks to Enhance Foreign Investment Committee’s Compliance, Enforcement Powers

Department of the Treasury

The Department of the Treasury has proposed boosting the authorities of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign investment in U.S. businesses for national security concerns.

In a proposed rulemaking notice released on Thursday, the department said the changes would help CFIUS accomplish its national security mission while supporting the United States’ open investment policy.

The Treasury, which heads the interagency committee, recommended key improvements such as expanding the types of information that parties or persons should submit when dealing with CFIUS.

It also wants greater flexibility in the body’s subpoena authority, allowing CFIUS to secure information from sources not party to its ongoing transactions.

Such power would enable the committee to better evaluate national security risks linked with non-notified transactions, according to the draft rules.

The enhancements would help CFIUS “more effectively deter violations, promote compliance and swiftly address national security risks,” Assistant Treasury Secretary for Investment Security Paul Rosen said in a statement.

“These updates reflect lessons learned in the course of our monitoring, compliance and enforcement work,” he added.

J. Philip Ludvigson, a former director for CFIUS Monitoring and Enforcement, told the Associated Press that the draft regulations show the committee’s “increasingly aggressive posture in protecting national security.”

“CFIUS clearly intends to issue more and bigger penalties than ever before, using an enhanced subpoena authority wherever necessary,” noted Ludvigson, a partner at the law firm King & Spalding.

The Treasury said written comments on the notice from the public would be accepted over the next 30 days after the proposal’s publication.

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