Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) last week introduced a bill that would prohibit Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) funds from being invested in any entity based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
If passed, the Prohibiting TSP Investment in China Act (S. 1665) would prohibit the TSP Fund from investing in any security of a Chinese company. According to a news release from Tuberville, the purpose of the bill is to “send a message of zero tolerance towards Chinese aggression and financial manipulation.”
The press release noted: “Companies headquartered in the People’s Republic of China have repeatedly committed corporate espionage, violated sanctions imposed by the United States, flouted international property laws, committed theft, and failed to comply with basic audit and regulatory standards. Investing the retirement savings of our nation’s warfighters and Federal civilian employees in Chinese companies threatens the economic stability of American investors and undermines U.S. national security interests. Such investments would funnel capital to companies that commonly skirt U.S. sanction laws. Hard-earned American dollars should not be invested in entities actively working to facilitate China’s military expansion and the persecution of religious minorities.”
“We’ve seen it time and again – Chinese companies don’t play by the rules, committing intellectual property theft and disregarding basic regulatory standards at the expense of investors,” Tuberville said. “Not a single taxpayer dollar should be invested with these entities that have a clear history of corruption. Such investments put the investors, and our country, at risk. It is time to take a serious, united, and bipartisan approach to disentangle American financial investment with China and send the message that American capital will not support Chinese aggression.”
A companion bill in the House of Representatives was introduced by Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN).
The legislation follows a series of previous efforts to ban TSP investments to funds that include China. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which governs the TSP, voted unanimously in May 2020 to postpone implementation of its decision to change the Thrift Savings Plan’s international (I) fund investments to include indexes that include Chinese companies.