Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have introduced legislation that would add the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the multi-agency committee that reviews the national security implications of foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses. The new bill (S. 661) – the "Food Security is National Security Act of 2017" – goes much further than past efforts at encouraging reviews of agricultural deals, inviting CFIUS to assess the potential impact of transactions on "the security of the food and agriculture systems of the United States, including any effects on the availability of, access to, or safety and quality of food." Among other things, the bill promises to increase CFIUS filings in the agricultural sector.
This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an overview of the new bill, highlights differences between the new bill and a similar effort in the last Congress, and discusses some of the implications that passage of the new bill could have on the CFIUS process.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.