In 1990 and 2012, respectively, only two foreign investments have been blocked by U.S. presidents, though others have been considered and, often, less explicitly opposed:
1990: President George H. W. Bush voided the sale of MAMCO Manufacturing to a Chinese agency, ordering China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation to divest themselves of Seattle-based MAMCO
2000: NTT Communications' acquisition of Verio
2005: The acquisition of IBM's personal computer and laptop unit by Lenovo was approved by President George W. Bush
2005: The acquisition of Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland, California, by Smartmatic, a Dutch company contracted by Hugo Chávez's government to replace that country's elections machinery
2005: In June 2005 a CNOOC Group (a major Chinese State-owned oil and gas corporation) subsidiary (CNOOC limited, publicly listed on the New York NYSE and Hong Kong stock exchanges) made an $18.5 billion cash offer for American oil company Unocal Corporation, topping an earlier bid by ChevronTexaco. While this offer was not opposed by the CFIUS and the Bush Administration, it was criticized by several Congressmen and, following a vote in the United States House of Representatives, the bid was referred to President George W. Bush, on the grounds that its implications for national security needed to be reviewed. On July 20, 2005 Unocal Corporation announced that it had accepted a buyout offer from ChevronTexaco for $17.1 billion, which was submitted to Unocal stockholders on August 10. On August 2 CNOOC Limited announced that it had withdrawn its bid, citing political tensions in the United States.
2006: State-owned Dubai Ports World's planned acquisition of P&O, the lessee and operator of many terminals, mostly for container ships, in several ports, including in New York-New Jersey and others in the US. This acquisition was initially approved by the CFIUS and then President G.W. Bush, but was eventually opposed by Congress (Dubai Ports World controversy).
2012: Ralls Corporation, owned by the Chinese Sany Group, was ordered by President Barack Obama to divest itself of four small wind farm projects located too close to a U.S. Navy weapons systems training facility in Boardman, Oregon
In February 2006, Richard Perle gave more insight into CFIUS when he related to CBS News his experience on the panel during the Reagan administration, "The committee almost never met, and when it deliberated it was usually at a fairly low bureaucratic level." He also added, "I think it's a bit of a joke if we were serious about scrutinizing foreign ownership and foreign control, particularly since 9/11."
Others emphasize the crucial role that foreign direct investment plays in the U.S. economy, and the discouraging effect that heightened scrutiny may cause. Foreign investors in the United States, much like U.S. investors elsewhere, bring expertise and infusions of capital into often-struggling sectors of the U.S. economy. In a February 2006 interview with the New York Times, another former Reagan administration official, Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr., noted that the United States "need[s] a net inflow of capital of $3 billion a day to keep the economy afloat.... Yet all of the body language here is 'go away.'" And, as Secretary Powell once remarked, "money, capital, is a coward; it will go nowhere where it is put in fear."