November 22, 2019 / 4:37 PM / 23 days ago

More foreign firms abandoned U.S. deals amid Trump administration scrutiny -report

WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - More overseas companies investigated by U.S. authorities for national security concerns have abandoned investments in the United States since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, a report showed on Friday.

The report, released by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), shows that foreign companies abandoned roughly 14 percent of U.S. investments that were investigated by CFIUS in 2017 “in light of CFIUS-related national security concerns.” The percentage in 2018 was 11 percent.

In both years, the percentages were sharply up from period immediately before Trump took office. About 4 or 5 percent of such transactions probed by the committee were dropped annually from 2014 to 2016, the report showed. The Committee, led by the Treasury Department, reviews foreign investment in the United States for national security issues.

The document, which offers few details about the deals, comes as the Trump administration beefs up oversight of foreign investment in key sectors, from critical technology to sensitive personal data and real estate, with new powers from Congress.

A law approved last year, known as FIRRMA, expanded the powers of CFIUS to probe transactions previously excluded from its purview, including attempts by foreigners to purchase non-controlling stakes in U.S. companies. It also instituted mandatory filing requirements for certain transactions. (Additional Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by David Gregorio)

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