by Mary Margaret Olohan
President Donald Trump will cut the federal government’s retirement fund investments in Chinese equities, according to a Monday letter obtained by Fox Business.
The White House does not want federal employee retirement funds to have money invested in Chinese equities, national Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and National Economic Council Chair Larry Kudlow said in a letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia Monday.
“This action would expose the retirement funds to significant and unnecessary economic risk,” O’Brien and Kudlow wrote in the letter, “and it would channel federal employees money to companies that present significant national security and humanitarian concerns because they operate in violation of U.S. sanction laws and assist the Chinese Government’s efforts to build its military and oppress religious minorities.”
Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks praised Trump for taking action on the investments in Chinese funds.
“I want to thank President Trump for ensuring that our military personnel and other federal employees don’t subsidize the Chinese military,” Banks told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “I hope Congress can make this fix permanent by passing my bill, the Blocking Investment In Our Adversaries Act.”
The Indiana representative first drew attention to the matter May when he introduced the Blocking Investment in Our Adversaries Act — a bill that seeks to prevent TSP savings from being invested in either Chinese or Russian companies.
“Last month, Rep. Gallagher and I called Secretary Gene Scalia to look at his jurisdiction to stop federal pension investments in companies tied to China’s military,” Banks added. “I’m thankful for Sec. Scalia’s leadership in addressing this serious issue.”
Banks warned of the looming coronavirus pandemic days before his fellow lawmakers began taking the virus seriously, he told the DCNF in an early April interview.
If more lawmakers had focused their attention on China and China’s pattern of misinformation and propaganda, the United States might not have been impacted so heavily by the virus, according to Banks.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been following China’s actions, their misinformation campaign, their propaganda, apparatus and effort, that we would see many of the actions that we’ve seen come out of China,” Banks said in April.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.