GOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report

GOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report
© Greg Nash

A trio of GOP lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would force Americans to divest from companies with ties to China's armed forces.

Reuters reported Monday that the bill from Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down Lawmakers introduce legislation to establish national cybersecurity director House Republican accuses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube of not doing enough to combat Chinese propaganda MORE (R-Wis.) and Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaGOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report House lawmakers advocate to preserve medical funding for underserved, rural areas Overnight Energy: Panel gives chairman power to subpoena Interior | House passes bill to protect wilderness | House Republicans propose carbon capture bill | Ocasio-Cortez introduces bill to ban fracking MORE (R-Calif.) would require Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFive takeaways from PPP loan data On The Money: Trump administration releases PPP loan data | Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits | McConnell opens door to direct payments in next coronavirus bill 40 Trump-connected lobbyists secured over B in coronavirus relief for clients: report MORE to provide Congress with a list of foreign companies that have “substantial contracts with, ties to, or support from” the Chinese military.

Americans would have six months to divest from those companies before a ban on such investments takes effect, according to the news service.

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“On one hand, Congress is asking taxpayers to help grow our military so we can compete with China. On the other hand, large U.S. investment funds are dumping U.S. dollars into China’s military industrial base,” Banks told Reuters. “We need to end our cognitive dissonance and stop funding the rise of our chief global adversary.”

Relations between the U.S. and China have deteriorated in recent weeks as Trump administration officials have repeatedly blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic. The two countries have also battled over China's backing of legislation in Hong Kong seen as threatening its unique status.

On Friday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE moved to end the United States' special economic relationship with Hong Kong, a decision that was swiftly denounced by Chinese authorities.

"I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment," the president said at a news conference Friday.

“The announced measures severely interfere with China’s internal affairs, damage U.S.-China relations, and will harm both sides. China is firmly opposed to this,” a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry responded on Monday.

“Any words or actions by the U.S. that harm China’s interests will meet with China’s firm counterattack,” they continued.