Reducing Investments

The Federal government is leading by example in withdrawing taxpayer dollars from People’s Republic of China businesses.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien have sent a letter (which was up on Scribd, but which has since been removed) to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia instructing him to not allow Federal retirement funds—taxpayer dollars—to be invested in shares of stock in PRC businesses.

Scalia then relayed those instructions to Michael Kennedy, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Chairman. Scalia instructed Kennedy to reverse the board’s decision to move the TSP’s International Stock Index Investment Fund investments to match an international index that would explicitly include PRC companies in the mix.

Scalia noted a prior bipartisan group of Senators’ request that the management board not move to invest in entities that

include those involved in military activities, espionage, and human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

However, in response to the Senators’ request,

the Board declined to reverse the decision.

Scalia also noted the additional concerns carried in the O’Brien/Kudlow letter to him:

…risks to investors resulting from inadequate investor disclosures and protections under Chinese law…this investment risk is augmented by the Chinese government’s concealment of critical information concerning the novel coronavirus, which exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic and, they note, materially increases the risk that Chinese companies will be subject to sanctions or boycotts.

And he emphasized the concerns provided in Scalia’s to him:

Several of the companies listed on the [new index] arm the People’s Liberation Army, provide equipment that is used to oppress China’s religious minorities, and have violated US sanctions by engaging in economic activity with Iran and North Korea.

It’s about time, too.

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