Working Papers

Italian-French Food Fight: How to Regulate FDI

A couple of US lawyers note the global trend towards invoking bogus strategic and national interest considerations to support political intervention in cross-border acquisitions. They suggest the following principles for regulating politically-sensitive transactions:

First, the review process should encourage investment and be tailored to apply to transactions implicating true national security interests. Screening for other reasons, such as a “national interest” standard should require an exceptionally high standard for intervention. To support this principle, reviews should be led by a responsible agency able to assign appropriate weight to the interests of open investment while also fully protecting against national security risks. The review process should be protected from political interference…

Also, the review mechanism should provide as much certainty as possible to investors…

Third, the government agencies conducting the review should be accountable.

Australia’s regime for regulating FDI fails on all three counts.

posted on 21 April 2011 by skirchner in Economics, Foreign Investment

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