In January of 2020, the U.S. Federal Government issued final rules fully implementing the new powers granted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Effective February 13, 2020, the Committee started to exercise its expanded ability to review the national security implications of more foreign investments – in particular companies with ‘novel or advanced technology’ including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, and advanced materials. New mandatory filing rules are now in place, and the Committee’s new enforcement team – charged with finding unfiled cases within CFIUS’s jurisdiction – is now bringing in far more cases than ever before.
Last year, Congress passed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which significantly expands the authorities of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In November of 2018, the U.S. Federal Government began a pilot program of these new FIRRMA authorities to review and in some cases restrict investment by non-U.S. sources in “critical technology” areas. Those “critical” areas currently include certain types of software, aerospace products, energy storage products, and many more technologies. In addition, the government is engaged in a proceeding to consider expanding the set of “critical” fields to include biotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, and advanced materials, among others.