a16z Podcast

What to Know about CFIUS

Michael Leiter and Katie Haun

Posted December 23, 2019

When innovation and capital go global, so do restrictions on trade, foreign investment, and more. Over the past couple years, U.S. policymakers have expanded the scope of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) through the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) of 2018 which was recently updated through proposed reforms this September 2019.

So what does this all mean for tech founders taking investments from, or doing joint ventures with, foreign entities — or just doing business globally in general? What does and doesn’t CFIUS cover, and how might one structure partnerships strategically as a result? In this episode, a16z general partner Katie Haun interviews Michael Leiter (of law firm Skadden Arps) who specializes in CFIUS as well as matters involving U.S. national security and cybersecurity, cross-border transactions, aerospace and defense mergers and acquisitions, and government relations and investigations.

The Q&A took place in September 2019 as part of an event hosted by Andreessen Horowitz.