Cfius tightens grip over foreign M&A

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 4 Oct 2017

A number of proposed reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’ (Cfius) decision-making process have set alarm bells ringing. Some fear that any changes could damage the body’s credibility and confidence in its ability to hand out unbiased decisions.

Cfius has been on the receiving end of ongoing criticism over a perceived anti-Chinese stance. Recent reports of President Trump blocking the proposed takeover by a Chinese investor of US company Lattice Semiconductor – the fourth presidential ban in Cfius’ 30-year history – have not helped. Further allegations that the committee has prevented up to nine acquisitions, including some from PRC buyers, so far this year haven’t either.  

The Lattice deal

President Trump’s ban on Chinese government-backed Canyon Bridge Capital acquiring Lattice came after Cfius advised the deal could pose a threat to national security. A Treasury Department statement read the risk related to 'the...