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From Ex-Head of DOJ’s FARA Unit: Primer on Unit, CFIUS Overlap, Tips

Foreign Investment Watch

28 Feb 2021

Foreign Investment Watch interviewed Brandon Van Grack, who offered his insight on the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit, which he led, and its connection to CFIUS.

“FARA requires entities and individuals to publicly disclose their influence-related activities in the United States on behalf of foreign entities and individuals,” Brandon explained. “The scope of what constitutes influence-related activities is exceptionally broad, to include lobbying, public relations, political consulting, promoting foreign investment, and merely disseminating information (in any form, including via social media).”

According to Brandon, FARA is connected to CFIUS. “CFIUS is authorized to review transactions involving foreign investment in the United States, in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States,” he said. “Foreign influence, which is regulated by FARA, is now a national security priority for the United States. Accordingly, transactions before CFIUS are now being reviewed to determine whether they present a foreign influence issue, and mitigation agreements are being designed to address such issues.”

Read the full article (subscription required).

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