Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Congress is working on legislation that could theoretically prevent a San Francisco-based venture capital firm from investing in a Los Angeles-based startup. It could also stop a New York-based private equity firm from acquiring an Indianapolis-based tech company.

Bottom line: None of this is intended. But that's the thing about trade wars: They can come with a whole slew of unintended consequences.

At issue is the CFIUS fix bill being pushed by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), with bipartisan support in both chambers and from the White House. In its current incarnation, the legislation could prevent U.S. investment funds from investing in sensitive U.S. tech companies (e.g., semiconductors, cybersecurity software, etc.), so long as those funds have any Chinese limited partners.

Investment industry trade groups are working to gain support for carve-outs, arguing that most of these limited partners are passive. And that's gaining some traction in the House, but less in the Senate (so far). Treasury just seems to want a bill done, so it's fairly agnostic.


  1. Legislators generally dislike carve-outs.
  2. Many VC funds are currently exempt from most SEC reporting requirements, so it could be difficult for CFIUS to know identities of VC firm LPs, what percentage of the funds rhey hold or if they have control.
  3. Private equity funds do have a bit more scrutiny on them, but Dodd-Frank rollback efforts and SEC budget cuts could soon create VC fund parallels.

There is also a separate discussion about Treasury using emergency powers to restrict Chinese investments in U.S. companies, which could result in reciprocal action that would make it harder for U.S. firms to invest in China.

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Podcasts

The child care tax on America's economy

Child care in the U.S. is in crisis, which makes it much harder for the American economy to recover — as providers struggle to stay in business and parents wrestle with work.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Viral load is a puzzle in COVID-19

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

How sick a person gets from a virus can depend on how much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questions that are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. EST: 32,048,333 — Total deaths: 979,454 — Total recoveries: 22,025,324Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m EST: 6,962,333 — Total deaths: 202,467 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!