President Trump is moving to cut ties with U.S. federal retirement funds and Chinese equities, in a move that in response to the handling of COVID-19.
In the letter written on Monday, national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, and National Economic Council Chair, Larry Kudlow, wrote to the U.S. Labor Secretary, Eugene Scalia, informing that the White House does not want the Thrift Savings Plan, a federal employee retirement fund, to have money invested in Chinese equities that numbers around $4 billion in assets.
The document directly ties China’s handling of COVID-19 as a reason why investment in Chinese companies should not happen.
In a second letter, Scalia wrote to Michael Kennedy, the chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, sharing the first letter and noting the two have “grave concerns with the planned investment on grounds of both investment risk and national security.”
It ends by saying moving assets out of a specific fund is “at the direction of President Trump.”
The move is likely to increase tensions between the U.S. and China, with the terms of their Phase One trade deal coming under scrutiny.
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