Earlier this week, negotiators from the House and Senate reached agreement on what will very likely be the final text of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which will be part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA). FIRRMA seeks to overhaul the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) by expanding the scope of the committee’s jurisdiction and closing certain “loopholes,” among other revisions. A text of the final version of the NDAA, including FIRRMA (at Title XVII), is available here. The negotiated text must still be passed by both chambers of Congress. The House is expected to vote on the updated version in the coming days and the Senate shortly thereafter.
As expected, FIRRMA will expand the jurisdiction of CFIUS to cover additional investments in critical technology and critical infrastructure companies, real estate transactions and concessions at airports and port facilities, and other perceived gaps in the existing CFIUS process. The bill will also result in new US export controls oversight over exports of “emerging and foundational technologies” that are not currently subject to regulation. Steptoe is preparing a detailed advisory on FIRRMA to be published in the coming days. Previous Steptoe advisories on FIRRMA are available here and here.