President Biden to sign executive order to ban investment in 59 Chinese defense and tech firms

Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S President Joe Biden will issue a new executive order on Thursday that will effectively ban American companies from buying or selling publicly traded securities for 59 Chinese companies with alleged ties to defense or surveillance technology sectors, Reuters reported.

The move is part of a broader measure to counter China, including reinforcing U.S. alliances and pursuing large domestic investments to bolster the U.S. economic competitiveness, amid increasingly sour relations between Beijing and Washington.

U.S Treasury Department will enforce and update on a “rolling basis” the new ban list, which replaces one from the Department of Defense, according to the report. The policy would take effect on Aug. 2.

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The new order, which is an effort to make a similar Trump-era prohibition more legally sound, signals President Biden administration’s intent to “ensure that U.S. persons are not financing the military industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China”, one of the senior officials told reporters.

The inclusion of Chinese surveillance technology firms expanded the scope of the previous order, the officials said.

“We fully expect that in the months ahead … we’ll be adding additional companies to the new executive order’s restrictions,” an official said.

In December last year, US lawmakers proposed $1.9 billion aimed to fund a program to remove telecom network equipment manufactured in China, which the U.S. government under Trump administration said poses national security risks.

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The proposal follows years of rumor that Huawei Technologies equipment and ZTE Corp devices feature a backdoor that gathers information and transmit them to China. Read the article here