CFIUS Orders First Divestment of Foreign-Owned Real Estate

June 4, 2024

As we’ve previously noted, a number of states have taken action to limit investment in certain U.S. real estate by foreign adversaries. But the federal government is also flexing its authority over foreign ownership, with the first-ever divestment of real estate ordered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Why it matters: The CFIUS process historically empowered the government to order divestment of foreign ownership of U.S. companies when there was a threat to national security.

On May 13, President Biden issued an order that directed the divestment of a cryptocurrency mining facility in Cheyenne, WY, located within one mile of Warren Air Force Base, a strategic missile base and home to Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

  • The mining facility ownership structure is majority controlled by Chinese nationals. The purchase of real estate was not submitted to CFIUS for review.
  • CFIUS found that the proximity to the base and the presence of specialized, foreign-sourced electronic equipment presented surveillance and espionage risks to national security. Thus, CFIUS prohibited the transaction.
  • The President ordered that the owners divest their interests, remove certain equipment, and not access the property.

This is the first time the federal government has used FIRRMA to order real estate divestment. As we have previously covered, a number of states have also implemented similar laws to limit foreign adversary investment in sensitive real estate, though the state laws are of questionable constitutionality.

What they’re saying: Members of Congress have also been seeking to expand oversight on foreign ownership of sensitive real estate. A bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) would expand CFIUS powers related to real estate investments connected to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Contact David McCarthy ( with questions).


David McCarthy
Managing Director, Chief Lobbyist, 
Head of Legislative Affairs
China spying on a a U.S. nuclear missile base in Wyoming
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