Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting More Experience with "CFIUS"

As I had mentioned earlier, "CFIUS" stands for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. This group is essentially an inter-agency committee of the United States government that reviews the national security implications of foreign investment in U.S. firms and U.S. defense industry. Such that, should a foreign entity buy a U.S. company or part of that company, it is necessary to review that purchase because it could pose a potential threat. How about a for instance? Let's say that the North Korean government wanted to buy a U.S. company that produced long-range missiles-- as you can imagine this would set off a definite red flag. Usually, CFIUS cases are not nearly as dramatic as that one but I'm sure you are getting the idea by now.

Earlier on, one of my primary roles working with CFIUS was to create vetting lists for the analysts. I also needed to answer any questions that the analysts may generate that required a quick response. Basically, that entailed me reviewing all of the documents from the involved firms and getting myself familiar with the acquisition.

More recently however, I have actually been able to prepare briefs on prefiled acquisitions. In doing so, I examine the acquisition at hand and look at a variety of indicators (like the firms' market share of the industry or work related to government contracts for example) in order to assess the overall threat. Unfortunately, due to the confidential nature of the CFIUS cases, I cannot divulge any specific details on any of the cases I have worked on. I realized that most of the cases contain proprietary business information which is why they cannot be shared.

However, as time has gone on, I find each case to be unique and complex in its own way and in the end, they each turn out to be very important because of their potential impact on national security. So far I have prepared two briefs on prefiled acquisitions, and I am looking forward to doing more.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for you post. I'm a grad student in DC interested in interning with CFIUS and was hoping to speak more about your experience. Could I send over an email?