Donald Trump backs off imposing China investment limits
Donald Trump backs off imposing China investment limits
Trump crackdown on China investment in US, chooses lighter option
28 June, 2018, 05:55
He said if this measure does not ultimately make it through Congress, the administration would return to a review of the powers at its disposal to protect sensitive USA technology. The bill strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment.
USA stocks finished solidly lower on Wednesday (Jun 27) as the Trump administration sent mixed signals on China, reviving fears that a trade fight between Washington and Beijing would escalate.
Instead of immediate bans on Chinese investment created to protect sensitive USA technology industries, the administration said it would work with Congress to pass a bill that will provide "enhancements" to the foreign investment reviews under the existing Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. While CFIUS reviews are technically voluntary, the bill would require foreign investors that are at least 25 percent owned by foreign governments to go through CFIUS when they are acquiring at least a 25 percent stake in a US business.
Each chamber has passed a version of the bill, which would expand on existing tools for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
President Trump had called for wide-ranging restrictions on Chinese investment in USA companies.
The decision marks a victory for Mnuchin in a fierce internal debate within the Trump administration over the scope of China investment restrictions, in which he had clashed earlier this week with White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro.
However, Trump warned that if Congress failed "to pass strong FIRRMA legislation that better protects the crown jewels of American technology and intellectual property from transfers and acquisitions that threaten our national security-and future economic prosperity" that he would direct his administration "to deploy new tools, developed under existing authorities, that will do so globally".
"It shows the Chinese that the Trump administration is still undependable and can be moved back from the most hardline positions", Kennedy added.
Trump's deference to Congress in his effort to address concerns about Chinese acquisitions of USA technology gives FIRRMA a better chance of becoming law. "But we are not going to, on a wholesale basis, discriminate against China as part of a negotiation".
On Tuesday, FIRRMA, which has bipartisan support, passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly. CFIUS is able to respond appropriately to different threats on different technologies posed by different entities from different countries, he said.
Chinese private equity firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners' proposal to buy USA chip maker Lattice Semiconductor Corp for US$1.3 billion and Ant Financial's attempt to buy MoneyGram International for US$1.2 billion were both blocked by Trump on CFIUS' recommendation.
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