The Real Deal Miami

Legislators call for more scrutiny on Chinese investment in US

Treasury committee can advise the president to block foreign deals based on national security
February 21, 2017 05:15PM

A 2011 photo of downtown Miami’s skyline (Credit: Lonny Paul) and the Chinese flag (Credit: Daderot)

Following a record year of Chinese investment in the U.S., Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling for more federal scrutiny of future deals.

Encouraged by President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to raise import duties on Chinese goods, legislators are pushing to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, according to the Wall Street Journal. The president’s administration is looking to give the committee more authority to reject technology deals, the newspaper reported.

While Trump said during the campaign that he would raise the duties on Chinese products to 40 percent, he has yet to do so. He and others have argued that allowing the Chinese to invest freely creates an unfair playing field when U.S. companies face restrictions in China.

CFIUS, led by the Treasury, can advise the president to block foreign deals based on national security concerns.

Chinese investment hit a record $45.6 billion last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. In South Florida, large-scale Chinese investment has slowed in recent months. China City Construction Holding Group plans to develop both a major mixed-use project in Brickell and a residential tower in Miami Beach, but neither project has moved into the construction phases.

Chinese investment in New York real estate has bankrolled massive deals in recent years. Chinese insurance company Anbang Insurance Group notably paid $1.95 billion for the Waldorf-Astoria in 2015. [WSJ] – Katherine Kallergis