HOMELAND SECURITY & CRE - May 25, 2018 - Roundtable Weekly

Senate and House Committees Approve Bills Addressing Foreign Investment Risk; Includes Language Affecting Real Estate

Separate bills that would overhaul the process for reviewing foreign investment risk – including a purchase or lease by a foreign party of domestic properties located close to sensitive U.S. facilities – received unanimous approval Wednesday by the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees.  (Lexology, May 23)

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Real estate provisions in S. 2098 appear on pages 7 through 9.

• The committees’ revised versions of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) – S. 2098 and HR 5841 – seek to modernize and strengthen how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews acquisitions, mergers, and other foreign investments in the United States for national security risks.  Both bills would expand the list of covered transactions to include some foreign purchases and leases of real estate near military and other strategic facilities. (Real estate provisions in S. 2098 appear on pages 7 through 9.)

• As a result of industry discussions with Senate and Treasury staff, the new legislative drafts include the addition of language designed to exempt real estate in 'urbanized areas' from the criteria of a covered transaction.  The Census defines an urbanized area as one comprising more than 50,000 people. 

FIRRMA may be ready for floor consideration in the House and Senate before the August congressional recess. The Trump Administration has shown support for reforming FIRRMA to strengthen CFIUS’ oversight. 

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