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Biden Administration Executive Order Outlines National Security Priorities For Committee on Foreign Investment

Hyemin Han
Friday, September 16, 2022, 6:26 PM

The Executive Order highlights five areas of attention the Biden administration identified as being risks for national security that the Committee on Foreign Investment should consider.

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On Sept. 15, the Biden administration released the Executive Order on Ensuring Robust Consideration of Evolving National Security Risks by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The executive order is the first time that a president has formally provided national security considerations for the inter-agency committee, established in 1975 to review foreign investment and real estate transactions in the United States to ensure that they do not result in negative national security implications. In its statement accompanying the Executive Order, the White House said that this effort is a part of the administration’s strategy to “maintain U.S. economic and technological leadership" while being cognizant of the national security challenges that might come from strides in these realms, highlighting the increasing tension between national security and innovation. 

The Executive Order directs CFIUS to focus on a range of considerations, from a transaction’s potential effect on U.S. supply chains to the “general industry trends” surrounding a transaction that give context for whether a transaction may facilitate unwanted technology transfer.  It also specifically highlighted microelectronics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and biomanufacturing, quantum computing, advanced clean energy, and climate adaptation technologies as issue areas that CFIUS ought to consider in approving transactions. Cyber security concerns occupied two of the five sets of factors, including a specific consideration of risks related to sensitive information of U.S. citizens. 

You can read the Executive Order here or below:


Hyemin Han is an associate editor of Lawfare and is based in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked in eviction defense and has interned on Capitol Hill and with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College, where she was editor-in-chief of The Dartmouth independent daily.

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