(WASHINGTON) – House Armed Services Committee and China Task Force member, Rep. Jim Banks, introduced H.R. 7064 the “Stop Funding the PLA Act” last week that would block U.S. investments—including investments from pension funds—in China’s military industrial base. Reps. Gallagher and LaMalfa joined as original co-sponsors.
“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. We need to end our cognitive dissonance and stop funding the rise of our chief global adversary,” said Rep. Jim Banks.
Rep. Jim Banksfirst drew attention to the issue of U.S. pension funds investing in China’s military in May 2019 when he introduced H.R. 2903, the Blocking Investment in Our Adversaries Act. That bill would prevent TSP savings from being invested in Chinese or Russian companies.
Last month, in a story reported by Reuters, Reps. Banks and Gallagher called on Secretary Eugene Scalia to take a look at this jurisdiction into the TSP. Soon after, President Trump ordered the halt of federal retirement money investment in Chinese equities to be pulled, according to a report by Fox Business.
In January, Rep. Banks also raised the alarm that state pension funds like CalPERS were already investing heavily in Chinese companies affiliated with the Chinese military and connected to human rights abuses. CalPERS quickly dismissed those warnings.
Additional background on the bill:
- The Treasury Department will work in consultation with the State Department, DOD, Intelligence Community and experts in the civilian sector to build a list of blacklisted companies with substantial ties to the People’s Liberation Army and update that list annually.
- The list and a comprehensive report is due to the Senate and House Financial Services Committees.
- The bill would prevent U.S. individuals, entities, companies, banks and financial institutions from investing in blacklisted companies.