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Asia Policy

Tougher Foreign Investment Rules Worry Investors, Companies

Private equity firms such as SoftBank’s Fortress Investments, companies such as Toyota and sovereign wealth funds are scrambling to convince the U.S. Treasury Department to carve out exemptions to tough new restrictions on foreign investment in some U.S. companies slated to go into effect early in 2020.

The long anticipated rules significantly increase the government’s power to review, modify or reject a broad array of deals that raise national security concerns. Among the changes, made under a law passed last year and scheduled to go into full effect early next year, foreign investors’ acquisition of minority stakes in companies will have to be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.—known as CFIUS. In the past, companies could submit these investments to CFIUS for review voluntarily, but they weren’t required.

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