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ICYMI: Rubio, Stefanik: Shed Light on U.S. Investment in China

Dec 12, 2023 | Press Releases

It’s Time to Shed Some Light on U.S. Investment in Communist China

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

December 12, 2023

Newsweek

…A recent investigation reveals that hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. index funds are going to companies tasked by the Chinese Communist Party to weaken America—and whose accounting is dangerously opaque. Over the years, Congress has passed laws to mitigate this…. But these efforts are no longer enough….

[The] Treasury [Department] usually lists the Cayman Islands as America’s top foreign investment destination. But when the department issues its annual correction for shell firms, China takes the Caymans’ place. This is compounded by the fact that Treasury doesn’t track which Chinese industries receive more U.S. investment than others, while the Commerce Department issues no shell-firm corrections at all. In short, there is a great deal going on that regulators, lawmakers, and investors are completely blind to.

Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party is doing everything in its power to prevent rigorous auditing of Chinese companies…. Congress can’t respond to this obfuscation and resistance with complacence. To the contrary, we must increase the pressure on Wall Street and Beijing….

Our American Investment Accountability Act would require the Treasury and Commerce Departments to issue more accurate quarterly reports for shell firms, break down outbound investments by industry, and disclose particular investments in sanctioned entities. Our bill would also require the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report all joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, and green-field investments in countries of concern, like Communist China.

Additionally, our Trusted Foreign Auditing Act builds on the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act to require publicly traded companies that are vetted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to retain independent auditors who are free from Beijing’s influence. If a company will not comply with this requirement, then our bill would remove them from all U.S. stock exchanges….

Neither of these is a silver bullet to the problems facing our financial system, but each is a worthwhile step…. We need straightforward legislation to keep dangerous Communist Chinese companies from swallowing the hard-earned savings of American teachers, first responders, and military service-members.

Read the rest here.