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President Biden recently issued an executive order (“EO”) establishing a framework to regulate certain U.S. investments with a nexus to China, taking initial steps towards what eventually could be unprecedented regulation of outbound U.S. investment. Specifically, the order directs the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) to issue regulations requiring notification of, and in some cases outright prohibition of, certain U.S. investments in Chinese and Chinese-owned companies relating to semiconductors, quantum technology, and artificial intelligence. The EO also covers investments in Hong Kong and Macau.
In the months ahead, it will be critical for observers to keep apprised of Congress’s reaction to President Biden’s EO and Treasury’s ANPRM, especially among members who have been particularly involved in advancing legislation on outbound investment. Congress may yet legislate on the issue, and such legislation could differ in scope from the Biden Administration’s executive action.
This alert provides background regarding the Biden Administration’s executive action, along with 10 key takeaways.
Geopolitical risk commentators have anticipated an EO relating to U.S. outbound investment for some time, based on policymakers’ stated concerns around the role of U.S. investment capital in developing sensitive technologies in China. Proposals in this context have tended to focus on the establishment of a multi-agency body (akin to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) to review outbound investment in sensitive technologies or “critical capabilities” with a nexus to certain countries of concern, including China.
To read the full client alert, please visit our website.