Start Date: 4/27/2021 12:00 PM EDT
End Date: 4/27/2021 1:00 PM EDT
Venue Name: Virtual
Trade and National Security: The Role of CFIUS on Investment
This discussion will focus on the changing role of CFIUS to safeguard national security issues, while still ensuring fair and effective foreign direct investment. Our panel will cover the role of CFIUS in managing risks to America’s economic development and national security interests through the investment lens. Discussion will include focus on the emerging role of China as a competitor and an investor. Our panelists Nazak Nikakhtar from Wiley Rein and Antonia Tzinova from Holland & Knight will not only talk about the process of CFIUS, but also the impact it has on companies and things to consider for investment promotion. This interactive discussion will bridge the gap of trade, investment, and national security.
Opening comments by Megan Rutkai, Fall 2020 WIIT Trust Scholarship Winner
Nazak Nikakhtar, Wiley Rein
Antonia Tzinova, Holland & Knight
Moderated by: Lisa Schroeter
The Honorable Nazak Nikakhtar brings over two decades of experience in international trade and national security to help clients succeed in the domestic and global marketplace. Through leadership roles in the U.S. government and private sector, Nazak has leveraged her valuable insights into the expansive range of U.S. and international laws, regulatory and policy processes, and federal agency resources to achieve clients’ business objectives.
Prior to joining Wiley, Nazak served as Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. She also served as the U.S. government’s top official for export controls on dual-use items and technologies, performing the non-exclusive functions and duties as Under Secretary for the Bureau of Industry and Security. During her tenure at the Commerce Department, Nazak was the agency’s primary liaison with U.S. industry and trade associations, and she shaped major initiatives to strengthen U.S. industry competitiveness, promote innovation, and accelerate economic and job growth. As one of the key national security experts in the U.S. government, she developed and implemented innovative laws, regulations, and policies to safeguard strategically important technologies, strengthen the U.S. industrial base, and protect the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. As the Department’s lead on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), she played a key role in shaping U.S. investment policy. As the head of the agency’s trade policy office, she advised the U.S. government on legal and economic issues impacting critical technologies, advanced manufacturing, financial services, e-commerce, data privacy, cybersecurity, critical minerals/rare earths, and energy competition. Finally, as the federal agency’s lead on supply chain assessments, Nazak spearheaded the United States’ first-ever whole-of-government initiative to evaluate and strengthen supply chains across all strategic sectors of the economy.
Antonia I. Tzinova is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office. Ms. Tzinova practices in the areas of international trade, foreign direct investment and industrial security. She advises on defense and high-technology exports; U.S. trade embargoes and economic sanctions; and customs matters. She regularly represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and advises on measures to mitigate Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI) in cross border mergers and acquisitions of U.S. government and defense contractors. She counsels foreign investors on structuring investments in the defense, high-tech and critical infrastructure sectors of the U.S. economy.
Recent transactions include advising on a complex CFIUS mitigation measure in a foreign acquisition of an exterior envelope façades designer and manufacturer; and a CFIUS review of a sovereign wealth fund investment in a North American railroad depot services provider. She has also advised on measures to mitigate FOCI in portfolio investments by private equity firms in government contractors performing on classified contracts, as well as advising dozens of clients on whether and how to approach the CFIUS review issue.
Ms. Tzinova also has extensive experience in assisting technology exporters, government contractors and research universities in developing and implementing export compliance programs and conducting company-wide compliance training. Enhancing compliance under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations often includes conducting confidential internal investigations and submission of voluntary disclosures to mitigate potential export compliance violations. These are issues that come up during regular day-to-day business operations, or in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) due diligence.
Ms. Tzinova also advises on inbound movement of goods in import matters, including classification, valuation, country of origin, and import licensing under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and other U.S. trade regulations.
Ms. Tzinova is actively involved in pro bono and bar activities. She is engaged with the Bulgarian-American community in the wider Washington metro area, serving as pro bono counsel to the Bulgarian Educational and Cultural Center of Washington, D.C. She has also served on the Board of Governors, and since October 2017 as president of the Washington Foreign Law Society.
Ms. Tzinova's experience also includes interning at the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS), a joint facility of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where she worked on issues relating to foreign direct investment in the developing countries.
Prior to the practice of law, Ms. Tzinova was an administrator of professional economics training at the IMF Institute of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she served as a liaison between leading economics lecturers and officials of the central banks and ministries of finance of IMF member states. During her time at the IMF, she was involved in developing internal guidelines for the use of training materials in compliance with U.S. and international copyright laws.