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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 GallagherReestablishing American prosperity by investing in the 'Badger Belt' Actors union blasts Democrat for criticizing GOP lawmaker's wife Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats MORE (R-Wis.) and Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaInterior ends endangered species protections for gray wolves Democrats hit Interior secretary for reportedly refusing to wear mask in meeting with tribes GOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report MORE (R-Calif.) would require Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience On The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed 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 TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race 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.