Stricter checks and reviews of proposed foreign investments in American technologies are not an anti-China move, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said earlier this week, shortly following President Trump's endorsement of his office's revised control policies. In a CNBC interview, Mr. Mnuchin said the main point of the new rules is to protect U.S. technologies and not inhibit other countries from advancing their own industries, though that may be a side effect of harsher reviews, some analysts previously speculated. The Treasury Department's top official still remains adamant that stricter checks aren't likely to have a significant impact on mergers, acquisitions, and investments involving stateside companies and foreign entities.
While Mr. Mnuchin hence maintains that the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States isn't adopting anti-China but pro-America policies, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggested the opposite earlier this week. While speaking to reporters on Monday, the official reiterated his previous view that the stricter regulations will be particularly focused on China. President Trump has also been sending mixed signals on the matter, much like he did in regards to Washington's current trade negotiations with Beijing that still haven't amounted to much, besides saving ZTE from certain bankruptcy for the time being. The head of the state recently resolved to burden around $50 billion worth of Chinese technological and IP goods with a 25-percent tariff, threatening harsher measures in case Beijing opts to retaliate, something that the country already suggested will happen.
CFIUS's new M&A review rules are expected to be officially detailed tomorrow, with recent reports suggesting the national security panel will soon start probing even minority stake investments in American technologies that are coming from overseas. While the exact threshold has yet to be confirmed, the federal government last considered in-depth reviews of all investment attempts that would leave any foreign entity with at least a 25-percent stake in an American company with industrially significant technological solutions, insiders claimed earlier this week. The U.S. economy is unlikely to be affected by a potential trade war with China in the short term due to the government's borrowing practices, though the far-reaching consequences of the current episode remain unclear.