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No clues: Mr Biden has made no specific comments on national security review as yet


increased tensions between the US and some of our major trading partners, particularly those in Europe,” she says. “But we’ve seen some posi- tive signs fromthe president elect about want- ing to rebuild relationships with our allies.” Some predict a shift away from outright


denials and towards allowing deals to go ahead under strict constraints. “When the current administration identifies risks, they are less likely to rely on mitigation to resolve their national security concerns. It’s possible the new administration will have a slightly higher risk tolerance for investors from certain coun- tries,” says Dorsey & Whitney partner and for- mer CFIUS official Justin Huff.


Keep it discreet While close scrutiny of Chinese investments will continue, the Biden team is expected to take a more measured approach. For example, Nova Daly, a public policy advisor at Wiley Rein, a law firm, expectsmoreleniency for deals by non-Chi- nese entities withconnections to the country. But they will be kept in check by their obli-


gations to brief the Senate, which is likely to remain Republican-controlled. “I suspect there will be more Senate oversight of CFIUS deci- sions, given that CFIUS cases have national security implications and a number of senators will remain hawkish on China,” says Mr Davy, who ran CFIUS from 2006 to 2009. “So I think


the Biden administration will have to take a relatively conservative approach.” One change that is almost certain is a


return to its historically low profile. The secre- tive agency has been thrust into the spotlight this year by Mr Trump’s comments on social media and in the press, but, by law, CFIUS offi- cials are not supposed to acknowledge the exist- ence of any filings or reviews. “It’s very unusual what we have been seeing for the last few months. Typically, CFIUS does not discuss cases that are before it in public and I don’t expect to see this going forward under a Biden adminis- tration,” says Ms Salladin.■


See also page 76: what will be a Biden presidency mean for relations with Iran?


I SUSPECT THERE WILL BE MORESENATEOVERSIGHT OF CFIUS DECISIONS, GIVEN THAT CFIUS CASESHAVENATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 65


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