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High Tech US Acquisitions with Foreign Assets

Following up on my last blog about semiconductor R&D decline in the US: Has anyone heard of CFIUS? It stands for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the investment community about CFISU and the high technology acquisitions of US companies with foreign assets. Sounds like the lead-in to a Dan Brown or Tom Clancy novel. Or the stuff of nightmares, if you’re worried about the decline in the US technology prowess.

For backgrounds, here’s an interesting section from the “Dept of the Treasury? CFIUS webpage:

Factors To Be Considered. The Exon-Florio provision lists the following factors that the President or his designee may consider in determining the effects of a foreign acquisition on national security. These factors are:

(1) domestic production needed for projected national defense requirements;

(2) the capability and capacity of domestic industries to meet national defense requirements, including the availability of human resources, products, technology, materials, and other supplies and services;

(3) the control of domestic industries and commercial activity by foreign citizens as it affects the capability and capacity of the U.S. to meet the requirements of national security;

(4) the potential effects of the transaction on the sales of military goods, equipment, or technology to a country that supports terrorism or proliferates missile technology or chemical and biological weapons; and

(5) the potential effects of the transaction on U.S. technological leadership in areas affecting U.S. national security.

3 Responses to “High Tech US Acquisitions with Foreign Assets”

  1. Lou Covey Says:

    Can’t say I’m really worried about this. Went through the same scare in the 70s when the Japanese were buying up everything in sight.

    We also worried about losing jobs to Japanese manufacturing. I seem to remember when things went south for their economy, they started opening factories in the US.

    “will the circle…be unbroken… by and by, Lord, by and by…”

  2. John Blyler Says:

    … but it’s not the 70′s anymore. “Sherman, set the way back machine to….”

  3. Jakob Engblom Says:

    Interesting angle… in some way, this feels like a blast from the past. Like the way European great powers intrigued and raced each other for technology in the late 1800s, based on the idea of a national industrial infrastructure that would be compared to the other countries’ national industrial infrastructures. With a focus on the individual nation-state.

    Post-world-war-two, that feels like a very old-fashioned way of thinking. With the EU, borders are naturally open, international cooperation is the norm, and military supremacy is largely considered irrelevant. Militarism is so last-century. In some sense, the natural way to think is international, and trying to protect national interests is frowned upon by international bodies of free trade. You cannot have both at the same time, really.

    But who knows, the world might be changing for the worse again and we will see countries once again having to start to build up massive armies just because they feel threatened. With less travel, less trade, and more protectionism.

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