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International Regulatory Enforcement

Foreign Investment Control and COVID-19 in Germany
In June 2020, the German government tightened again the rules of screening of foreign direct investments by revising the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance ("AWV"). The initiative is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic emphasizing the importance of protecting critical technology and assets in the current crisis and extends the ability of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to scrutinize, intervene in, and prohibit the acquisition of companies in critical sectors—with an emphasis on the health care sector—by non-EU investors. Moreover, the German Parliament is currently revising the Foreign Trade and Payments Act ("AWG") to streamline the screening of foreign direct investments and to implement the EU Regulation on the Screening of Foreign Direct Investments ("EU Screening Regulation").
CFIUS Extends its Reach to Order the Termination of Ekso Bionics' Role in Joint Venture in China
On May 20, 2020, Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (“Ekso Bionics”), a U.S. manufacturer of robotic mechanical suits (“exoskeletons”), announced that it had received an ultimatum from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) to terminate its role in a 2019 joint venture with Chinese partners.
More Clarity, More Complexity: New CFIUS Rules Put Spotlight on Mandatory Filings
The Department of the Treasury has issued proposed rules that, upon becoming final, will revise the conditions under which parties to a foreign investment in any U.S. business that produces “critical technologies” are required to provide notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”).
Mandatory BE-10 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Investment Abroad Due May 29, 2020
In a development that may catch many by surprise, a little-known, but mandatory, U.S. Government filing called the BE-10 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad is due May 29, 2020. With few exceptions, any U.S. business that, at the end of its Fiscal Year 2019, owned 10% or more of the voting securities of any foreign business (directly or indirectly) is required to file a report, whether or not it is contacted by the U.S. Government agency responsible for administering the reporting program. (U.S. businesses filing 50 or more foreign affiliate reports have until June 30, 2020 to file their BE-10 survey.)
New Team Telecom Process Formalized; FCC Rules to Follow
On April 4, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing a Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector. The Order formalizes the presently ad hoc “Team Telecom” process of national security review of communications transactions involving foreign investment and adds to the complex regulatory environment for these deals. Soon after, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the action and announced that the Commission would conclude its pending rulemaking to reform its foreign ownership review processes.
The New CFIUS Regulations: How Will This Actually Work? FAQs We Wish Treasury Would Answer
Gallons of ink will be spilled explaining the new regulations published by the Department of the Treasury to implement the extensive changes to the national security review process undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS"). The updated rules, which went into effect on February 13, 2020, were mandated by the 2018 Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA").
New Rules for CFIUS: How Investment Funds Can React and Take Advantage
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) has just implemented new rules effective February 13, 2020 under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”). The new regulations overhaul how CFIUS will review inbound investments into the U.S. for national security risks, and the changes have significant implications for U.S.-based investment funds.
Foreign Investment Control in France: A Strengthened Regime
The French foreign investment control regime has been recently adjusted. The list of “sensitive sectors” has been extended and criteria regarding the submission of a foreign investor to prior authorization have been clarified. Greater enforcement powers have also been granted to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.