2024.03.03 ISM Roundup

Written by
Gabriella Couloubaritsis
March 3, 2024

Australia Proposes Changes to Foreign Investment in Residential Real Estate 

Sources: Treasury Announcement, Holding Redlich 

An Australian bill, expected to commence either on April 1st or the day after that Bill receives Royal Assent, aims to amend the current foreign investment framework on residential housing acquisitions. The new legislation would triple the application fees for foreign investment in established dwellings, double vacancy fees for all foreign‑owned dwellings acquired after May 9, 2017, a six-fold increase in vacancy fees for future purchases of established dwellings, a strengthening of the compliance regime to ensure foreign investors comply with the rules, and a commercial fee schedule for foreign investment in eligible build-to-rent projects. Under the current foreign investment regime, foreign persons are generally prohibited from purchasing established dwellings, given the housing crisis, but there are several exemptions that this legislation would make more challenging. 

Wind Project Subject to ISP Review 

Sources: Energy Global, Eolus Press Release 

Sweden-based Eolus and Ireland-based Simply Blue Group announced that they have agreed to transfer the full ownership of their joint venture to Eolus. Simply Blue Group will transfer its 50% share to Eolus in exchange for a future profit-sharing mechanism. Established in 2022, the joint venture SeaSapphire was offshore wind projects in both Sweden and Finland through floating technology. The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products. It is unclear how much the venture is worth, but the project is significant, projected to produce 40TWh/year for Sweden and Finland, when Sweden’s annual wind power production is 26.6 TWh and Finland’s annual wind power production is 11.6 TWh. 

U.S. Navy Announces Maritime Economic Deterrence Executive Council 

Sources: Defense News, Press Release 

The U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro announced that they are creating a Maritime Economic Deterrence Executive Council meant to counter “adversarial economic activities,” such as intellectual property theft, exploitation of supply chain vulnerabilities, adversarial capital investments in companies developing critical technologies, and other “concerted actions designed to weaken our competitive advantages, not only at sea but on the world’s economic stage.” The council includes representatives from the R&D and acquisition communities, intelligence and law enforcement, and supply chain and critical infrastructure subject matter experts. The group’s focus will be on mitigating adversarial foreign investment risks, guarding innovations, supply chain integrity initiatives, and protecting research efforts across both the government and private sector. The Navy Secretary cited several recent initiatives which relate to ISMs, particularly the 2024 Critical and Emerging Technologies list. 

Biden Administration Releases Executive Order on Sensitive Personal Data 

Sources: Fact Sheet, Bauerle Danzman Post, Executive Order 

The Biden Administration released an EO designed to protect Americans' sensitive personal data from exploitation of countries of concern. Sensitive personal data include genomic, biometric, personal health, geolocation, and financial data. The EO directs various agencies to develop rules to prevent the large-scale transfer of such data to countries of concern and to prevent countries of concern from gaining access to such data through commercial means, such as investment, vendor, and employment relationships. Specifically, the EO requires Team Telecom, the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector, to consider the threats to Americans’ sensitive personal data in its reviews of submarine cable licenses. It does not appear that the EO defined "country of concern" or thresholds for the amount of data considered "large-scale" transfer.