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Rubio Calls SEC Guidance on China “Long Overdue” but Says More Action Needed

Jul 30, 2021 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler announced additional scrutiny before allowing China-based companies to list on U.S. stock exchanges.

“The SEC’s announcement to increase transparency and disclosure for Chinese companies is long overdue,” Rubio said. “While this is a good first step, we need to do much more to protect American retirees and pensioners from unaccountable Chinese companies. If the Biden Administration is serious about prioritizing American workers and mom-and-pop investors above Beijing and Wall Street, there is much more it can do. It should start with supporting my bipartisan No IPOs for Unaccountable Actors Act. No American’s savings should be used to fund communist China’s rise, and this is the only way we can actually protect Americans and cut off Beijing’s exploitation of our capital markets.”  

In May 2021, Rubio and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the No IPOs for Unaccountable Actors Act to prohibit initial public offerings (IPOs) on U.S. exchanges for Chinese companies that are out of compliance with U.S. regulators. This legislation would direct the SEC to prohibit any company headquartered in a jurisdiction in which the PCAOB lacks standard auditing authority, or that retains an auditor PCAOB cannot inspect, from registering a security and making an IPO on a U.S. stock exchange. This would prevent Chinese companies from issuing IPOs or listing on American exchanges through SPACs.

In 2020, Rubio and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) worked to pass the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act into law. The HFCAA subjects Chinese and other foreign companies listed on American exchanges, like Didi, to the same audit oversight standards as all other U.S. listed firms. The law requires that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delist and ban over-the-counter trading for firms that are out of compliance with U.S. regulators for a period of three years. 

In other words, because the Chinese Communist Party prevents the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) from conducting an audit, Didi would be delisted from American exchanges in three years. Rubio also urged the Working Group on Financial Markets to close the “loophole” by which variable interest entities (VIEs) list on U.S. exchanges without compliance with U.S. law.