Elected Officials Introduce Bill to Keep Americans from Giving Handouts to China’s Military

According to a report from Reuters, Republican elected officials are rolling out legislation this week to prevent Americans from investing in foreign defense companies that have connections to China’s military.

This is the latest proposal that lawmakers have introduced to keep Chinese firms from receiving American funding.

Congressmen Mike Gallagher, Jim Banks and Doug LaMalfa are introducing this bill, which would have Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin submit a report to Congress detailing which foreign defense companies have “substantial contracts with, ties to, or support from” the Chinese military.

Six months after the report is released, American companies and citizens must divest from those firms and would then be prohibited from making new investments in them.

“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 declared in a statement. “We need to end our cognitive dissonance and stop funding the rise of our chief global adversary.”

This move comes at a time when U.S. relations with China have become testy due to China’s lack of transparency with regards to the Wuhan virus outbreak. Other issues such as Beijing’s decision to put the clamps on Hong Kong’s independence and its controversial internment policies directed towards Uighur Muslims.

On June 6, 2020. President Donald Trump said his administration will look into ways of protecting Americans from the dangers of investing in Chinese companies. It plans on doing so by dialing up pressure on the companies to comply with U.S. accounting and disclosure standards.

Thanks to President Donald Trump’s focus on China during the campaign trail and throughout his presidency, Republicans are waking up to the existential threat that it poses. China is resoundingly authoritarian and has ambitions of global domination.

Policymakers must recognize that China is not a normal trading partner. It’s a geopolitical threat and it should not be coddled through free trade and its citizens should not be allowed to enter the U.S. at will.