In addition to antitrust and other regulatory approvals, an increasing number of jurisdictions have now adopted FDI screening mechanisms. These aim to determine whether investments by foreign entities raise broader national security or other “public interest” concerns.

In the United States, for more than thirty years, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has been able to block acquisitions that threaten defense or other critical national interests. This briefing looks at the recent wider spread of similar regimes - now accelerating as a result of fears that the present COVID-19 pandemic will leave domestic businesses vulnerable to opportunistic foreign investors.