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China's Outbound Foreign Direct Investment: The U.S. Experience

International Journal of Public Policy, Special Issue on the Regulatory Response to China's State-Owned Enterprise Investment Abroad, 2017, Forthcoming

Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 15-1

19 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2014 Last revised: 13 Jun 2017

Mark Feldman

Peking University School of Transnational Law

Date Written: March 4, 2015

Abstract

U.S. policy expressly welcomes Chinese investment, and since 2000 Chinese companies have invested nearly $50 billion in the United States. Notwithstanding those facts, the U.S. regulatory environment for Chinese investment - at least with respect to the national security reviews of certain proposed transactions - has been criticized as politicized and protectionist.

This article analyzes the experience of Chinese investors in the United States, particularly with respect to national security reviews led by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This article addresses a small, but significant, group of controversial U.S. transactions involving Chinese acquirers, including CNOOC, Tangshan, Northwest, Huawei, and Ralls, which have had a damaging impact on Chinese perceptions of the U.S. investment environment. At the same time, this article considers the "clear but silent majority" of Chinese investments in the United States that go forward routinely and without controversy.

To help preserve - or, some would maintain, restore - the U.S. reputation for providing an open investment environment that is free from political or protectionist influence, this article recommends that the United States aim to ensure that the "clear but silent majority" of U.S. investments by Chinese acquirers receive the public attention they deserve. The need for some $8 trillion in investment over the next 15 years to modernize U.S. infrastructure should provide many opportunities for the U.S. Government to further demonstrate that Chinese investment is indeed welcome in the United States.

Keywords: China, FDI, CFIUS, Exon-Florio, Ralls, CNOOC, Huawei

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Feldman, Mark, China's Outbound Foreign Direct Investment: The U.S. Experience (March 4, 2015). International Journal of Public Policy, Special Issue on the Regulatory Response to China's State-Owned Enterprise Investment Abroad, 2017, Forthcoming; Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 15-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2481442

Mark Feldman (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

China

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