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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 GallagherGOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' Lawmakers introduce bill to protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Wis.) and Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaGrowing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Interior ends endangered species protections for gray wolves MORE (R-Calif.) would require Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez 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.