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Prepping for CFIUS: Understanding and Managing Foreign Investments in the U.S.

In late September 2012, the Obama Administration blocked plans by a Chinese company to build wind turbines off the coast of Oregon, citing national security considerations due to the close proximity of a U.S. Navy site near the proposed wind farm. This recent order to cease activity related to the wind facility was the result of a review process by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

CFIUS is a federal inter-agency committee that is charged with reviewing the national security implications of foreign investments in U.S. companies or operations. With the cross-border nature of many investments in the worldwide energy industry, questions relating to the national security implications of investments in the United States inevitably arise. In the video below, Josh Zive, senior counsel in the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell & Giuliani, recently sat down with my colleague, PRG partner Paul Nathanson, to provide a concise overview of CFIUS, including explanations of:

  • how the CFIUS  review process works,
  • why companies undertake the time and expense of going through the voluntary filing process,
  • why CFIUS disapproves transactions, and
  • what foreign investors and U.S. companies should be looking out for in the near future.  

© 2020 Bracewell LLP


About this Author

Frank Maisano, Government Relations Attorney, Bracewell law firm
Senior Principal

Frank Maisano is a Senior Principal in the firm’s government relations and strategic communications practice, with more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications.  His focus is on media relations, crisis communications and strategic counseling services for U.S. and international clients, including wind developers, utilities, oil and gas drillers, refiners, cement companies, transmission builders and chemical manufacturers.

He is a skilled media specialist whose contacts and knowledge of energy and environmental issues has resulted...

Josh Zive, Legislative Regulatory Advocacy attorney, Bracewell law firm
Senior Principal

Josh Zive is a senior principal at Bracewell with an eclectic background in legislative and regulatory advocacy, campaign finance and ethics laws, strategic communications and issues related to international trade and economic sanctions. He works closely with associations and companies involved in legal and political controversies to craft and deliver arguments that can be successful with legal, political and public audiences. No matter the forum or the specific controversy, Josh strives to serve as trusted counsel for his clients and to provide timely and practical advice.

Josh is also skilled at working with clients on unique compliance matters related to Dodd-­Frank, international economic sanctions, and foreign investment laws. He has delivered presentations at anti-corruption seminars in the United States and abroad, and has helped leading international companies to develop training and compliance programs designed to prevent violations of U.S. and international trade laws, helped clients successfully navigate the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process many times. Additionally, Josh works with a wide range of clients on issues involving political action committees (PACs), ethics and election law, and compliance with lobbying disclosure laws.

Josh joined Bracewell in 2002 after completing a legal education focused on litigation and a graduate education focused on persuasion and argument. Josh has provided expert commentary on matters involving legislation, political law, and international trade to a wide variety of media outlets, including the BBC, the Los Angeles TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and numerous legal and trade publications.