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Mnuchin’s Foreign Takeover Weapon Gives Leverage Over China

  • Congress may help Treasury broaden CFIUS’s review authority
  • U.S.-China ties seen bumpy under Trump: ex-Treasury official
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What Trump's Trade War with China Would Look Like

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A U.S. government panel that reviews foreign takeovers of American companies could become a tool for Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin to get tough on China.

If confirmed, Mnuchin will become head of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews the national security implications of overseas investors trying to scoop up U.S. companies or operations. China was the leading source of investments reviewed by CFIUS from 2012 to 2014, accounting for almost a fifth. Any broadening of the committee’s mandate -- a push backed by representatives of both parties in Congress -- could raise protective barriers if it opens a path to reject Chinese investments.