Definition of Cfius

Many countries have bodies reviewing inbound deals.  The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius) is a government body that scrutinises foreign investment into the US and inbound foreign takeovers to assess potential threats to national security. [1]

 

Cfius in the news

In early September 2013, Shuanghui International’s $4.7bn acquisition of pork producer Smithfield Foods received clearance from the US Treasury department which reviewed the deal for national security concerns.

The approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States paved the way for the largest ever Chinese takeover of a US company.

The deal faced opposition from a bipartisan group of US lawmakers who were concerned about food security issues, including whether Chinese pork products could be exported to the US.

But Smithfield and Shuanghui officials stressed that the deal was about sending Smithfield products to China to meet demand there. Cfius legal experts had expected the deal to win clearance from the US government because it did not raise significant national security issues.

However, certain sectors still faced difficulties in gaining the go-ahead from government regulators.

For example, Chinese oil companies in recent years acquired only minority stakes in assets of US oil and gas companies out of fear of raising the ire of US government regulators and politicians. [2]

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