CFIUS Fatalities Set Record

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, reviews foreign investments for national security risks.  It is now beyond doubt that Chinese investment is getting much closer scrutiny from CFIUS.  A total of ten transactions failed to survive review in 2012, according to a just-released Treasury report.

That may not sound like a lot, but in 2011, only two deals failed to make it through the process.  At the time, two was a lot of deals to kill in a year, since CFIUS has sometimes gone a decade or more without deep-sixing any.  When in government, I had a reputation as a CFIUS security hawk, but I doubt I ever recommended killing more than two deals in a year.

This crowd is tough.