Alston & Bird’s International Trade & Regulatory Group regularly represents clients before the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) in connection with national security reviews under the Exon-Florio Amendment. We also monitor and advise on pending acquisitions undergoing CFIUS review for private equity firms. We provide extensive advice to clients on the Buy America Act, Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (“FOCI”) rules and foreign direct investment legislation, including the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 which tightened procedures for CFIUS reviews. We have an intimate knowledge of the law and the regulations, and an understanding of their application in a political landscape.
The numerous CFIUS representations we have handled include ones in the semiconductor, defense, financial services, telecommunications, aerospace and nuclear power industries and, most importantly, what was arguably the most famous CFIUS matter of all time – Dubai Ports World’s acquisition of P&O and the ensuing Congressional and media firestorm. Because of our representation of Dubai Ports World before CFIUS, the Administration, Congress and the media we have a unique set of contacts and insights. Our leadership on CFIUS issues has continued with our representation of Sea Launch LLC in its acquisition by S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia of Russia, which was the M&A Advisor “Cross-Border Deal of the Year” for 2010.
As a result of these representations we have worked intensively with the Staff Director of CFIUS and with senior officials at the Department of the Treasury, as well as with the White House and Congress, on CFIUS issues. We are knowledgeable about the policy and political factors that drive CFIUS reviews and decisions and about the types of mitigation measures currently being negotiated in those reviews. We also have an extensive range of contacts at the CFIUS member agencies. For example, our International Trade & Regulatory Group is in constant contact with the Departments of Defense, State, Commerce and Homeland Security, and, as needed, the intelligence agencies, as part of its ongoing and intensive practice in the areas of export controls, sanctions and homeland security. Members of our firm hold current U.S. government security clearances to assist in this work.
The political dimensions of Exon-Florio proceedings have become increasingly significant and need to be anticipated and dealt with proactively. In this connection, Alston & Bird has a particular resource in our Washington office’s large Legislative & Public Policy Group – for the sensitive matter that requires a high-level bipartisan approach. We know the issues, committees and members who must be dealt with.