Economic Coordination Groups (2 of 2)

On June 5, 2008, Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez (left) tours the newly opened Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Kiev.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) derives its authority from several Executive Orders and from the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. CFIUS is chaired by the Secretary of Treasury and its members are the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State, and Energy; the Attorney General; Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and the U.S. Trade Representative. The Secretary of Labor and the Director of National Intelligence serve on CFIUS in a non-voting, ex officio capacity. In addition, the following officials participate in CFIUS as observers: the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Treasury staff from the Director of the Office of International Investment in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of International Affairs, performs the secretariat function for CFIUS.

The role of this interagency committee is to monitor and evaluate the impact of foreign investment in the United States and determine the effects of certain foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies on the national security of the United States. In general, CFIUS reviews of foreign acquisitions are initiated pursuant to voluntary notifications of the acquisitions by the parties themselves prior to consummation of a transaction. However, CFIUS may begin a review on its own initiative. As Chair of CFIUS, Treasury receives and circulates voluntarily filed notices of transactions to CFIUS agencies and coordinates reviews. Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 provides for an initial 30-day review following receipt of a notification. If any national security concerns remain at the end of the 30-day review, then the matter may proceed to an investigation to be completed within 45 days. If concerns still remain at the conclusion of an investigation (whether those concerns are held by CFIUS as a whole or only certain agencies), CFIUS must provide a report to the President, including a recommedation whether to block the transaction at issue. The President must announce a final decision within 15 days of receiving such a report. The statute also requires the President to inform Congress of his determination of whether or not to take action in a given transaction. Presentation of transactions for decision by the President is extremely rare. The vast majority of cases to have come before CFIUS have been resolved at earlier stages in the review process (sometimes through the negotiation of "mitigation agreements" with the parties to the transaction to address any national security concerns).

More information on CFIUS