Trump planning new curbs on Chinese investment in the US - WSJ


As reported by the Wall Street Journal, unnamed sources within the White House are warning that US President Trump is trying to figure out how to further impede Chinese investment money from making its way into the US.

Key quotes

"President Donald Trump, already embroiled in a trade battle with China, plans to ratchet commercial tensions higher by barring many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms, and by blocking additional technology exports to Beijing, said people familiar with administration plans.

The twin initiatives, set to be announced by the end of the week, are designed to prevent Beijing from moving ahead with plans outlined in its “Made in China 2025” report to become a global leader in 10 broad areas of technology, including information technology, aerospace, electric vehicles and biotechnology.

The Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying companies involved in what the White House calls “industrially significant technology.” The ceiling may end up lower than that, according to people familiar with discussions finalizing the plans.

In addition, the National Security Council and the Commerce Department are putting together plans for “enhanced” export controls, designed to keep such technologies from being shipped to China, said the people familiar with the proposals.

Foreign investments already must pass interagency review under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., to see if they violate national security. CFIUS reviews—or the threat of reviews—have largely halted Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductor companies. 

A bill to make CFIUS reviews even tougher is making its way through Congress. It would also create a new export-control system to review whether overseas joint ventures are improperly transferring critical technologies to foreign companies.

Treasury officials have argued that a stricter CFIUS would go a long way to protecting U.S. technology, and any additional restrictions must be narrowly focused.

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