WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday put into effect tougher screening rules on investments from abroad that initially exempt some of its close allies but not Japan.
The new regulations boost the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which examines foreign plans to invest in the country from a national security perspective. Screenings of investments in critical technologies and certain real estate are now tighter.
Specifically, investments in crucial technologies and infrastructure not intended to lead to controlling stakes and personal data, which were previously outside the authority of CFIUS, are now subject to its reviews.
The committee is also set to ramp up reviews of transactions of real estate close to military facilities and investments in ports and airports.
Of the U.S. allies with strong security ties, Britain, Canada and Australia will be exempt from the stricter reviews for the first two years. Japan will not.
Although the exemption is not available to Japan, a U.S. Treasury Department source said the list of countries excluded from the tougher regulations may be expanded in the future.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been gradually giving more power to CFIUS, an interagency body spanning such organizations as the treasury and defense departments, following heightened trade tensions between the United States and China.