On August 1, 2018 the U.S. Senate joined the U.S. House of Representatives in agreeing to a conference report that sent the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (“NDAA”), which incorporated a version of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”), to the U.S. President for his signature. The President is expected to sign the NDAA.
FIRRMA updates the statute authorizing reviews of foreign investment by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) to reflect changes in CFIUS’s practice over the ten years since the last significant reform, expands CFIUS’s jurisdiction, and makes significant procedural alterations to the CFIUS process. Introduced to “modernize and strengthen” review of foreign investment in the United States, FIRRMA cements a relatively aggressive approach to foreign investment review. However, ultimately, FIRRMA’s changes to current CFIUS practice are modest, and many of the changes merely codify practices in place since the later years of the Obama Administration.
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