Foley & Lardner LLP partners Louis Lehot and Christopher Swift are quoted in the IFLR article, “Law firms prep market for US outbound investment regime,” offering insight on how companies can approach the expected impact of new rules restricting outbound investment in advanced technologies and countries of concern to national security.
“Many clients are asking whether they can still invest in China – the answer to that is we don’t know quite yet,” said Swift. “It’s not a matter of ‘don’t go’. It’s a matter of going carefully, with the right kind of planning, preparation and advisors.”
“If you go carefully, there is a way forward, but if you pretend that the yellow light isn’t blinking at the intersection, it could turn into a red light – whether it’s the Chinese government or the U.S. government doing it to you,” Swift continued. “What the US government is saying with this new executive order is, we have one more red light we can throw up in the event that you’re not paying attention and not driving carefully.”
Lehot said he has been navigating the growing government scrutiny on venture capital investments in China and Chinese companies for some time. “As a Silicon Valley lawyer representing emerging growth companies and VC firms trying to make investments, I expect many questions as to whether it’s okay to proceed in the next three to four months, before a final rule emerges,” he commented.
“It’s really easy to get wound up by the headlines, but the thing that matters here is being ready, not overreacting to the problem,” added Swift. “That involves taking into account everything that’s been mentioned and doing it proactively, rather than reactively.”