I’ll Keep Veterans’ Pensions Safe From Communism

If I walked into Byron’s Smokehouse in Auburn, Ala., and asked folks if they’d want their retirement savings invested in Chinese companie...


If I walked into Byron’s Smokehouse in Auburn, Ala., and asked folks if they’d want their retirement savings invested in Chinese companies, I’d get laughed out of the restaurant. So why would we allow the federal Thrift Savings Plan, which serves approximately six million government employees and retirees, including military veterans, to do just that?

The board that governs the TSP wants to invest a considerable portion of its more than $700 billion in assets in companies with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party. President Trump stopped that move from going into effect last year, but with a new president in office, the order blocking the board’s decision no longer carries weight.

Congressional action is needed to provide a permanent solution, rather than relying on the whims of executive action. That’s why I am introducing the Prohibiting TSP Investment in China Act. This bill would bar TSP funds from being invested in any security of an entity based in China or in a subsidiary that is owned or operated by a Chinese company.

Blocking investment of federal retirement savings in Chinese companies is good for U.S. national security and good for investors. We shouldn’t be funneling capital to firms that routinely violate U.S. sanctions laws and actively enable the Chinese Communist Party’s military expansion and persecution of religious minorities. Chinese companies have a long history of putting investors at serious risk by manipulating financial reporting statements and failing to comply with basic audit standards to artificially inflate their performance.

The Luckin Coffee incident is a prime example. The Securities and Exchange Commission found that Luckin, the largest coffee chain in China, defrauded U.S. investors by lying about the firm’s performance and inflating retail sales by more than $300 million. Luckin settled with the SEC by agreeing to pay a $180 million fine, but Americans who invested their retirement savings in funds exposed to Luckin’s deception lost millions.

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