Investing in the post 9/11 US: CFIUS reform

By Wayne Rogers, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

The United States is the largest international investor in the world and the largest destination for foreign investment.

Foreign direct investment in the United States hovered around US$50 billion per year in the early 1990s and by 2000 had spiked to over US$300 billion. Then the tragic events of September 11, 2001 unfolded. Foreign investment in the US plummeted and attitudes toward foreign investment both in the Congress and among the public materially changed.

The effect of 9/11 was not revolutionary, rather it resulted in a large evolutionary step in a process that had been underway for over 30 years.

Wayne Rogers, Partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP US trade and investment
Wayne Rogers
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was born by an Executive Order of President Ford in 1975. The president acted in response to widespread concern in Congress over the rapid increase in US investment by OPEC members, flush with oil profits. Many in Congress believed OPEC investors were being driven by political considerations.

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Wayne Rogers is a partner in the Washington DC office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. He can be reached at


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