Trump signs order banning investments he says benefit Chinese military

Nov. 12 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order preventing Americans from investing in Chinese companies the administration believes are benefiting the country’s military.

In addition to banning American individuals and companies from directly owning shares in the Chinese companies, it also prohibits them from participating in investment funds.

“Many of these companies are publicly traded on stock exchanges around the world, and individual investors in the United States can unknowingly provide funds to them through passive institutional investment vehicles such as mutual funds and retirement plans,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien said.

The order, which goes into effect Jan. 11, lists a number of Chinese companies it accuses of being connected to the Chinese military, including technology company Huawei.

“The People’s Republic of China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence and other security apparatuses,” the executive order said.

The Trump administration has accused Huawei of operating as the surveillance arm of the Chinese Communist Party. The company, founded by a former military official, is the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung.

The U.S. Commerce Department in August expanded its restrictions on Huawei in an effort to prevent the company from obtaining semiconductor chips from U.S. companies to circumvent U.S. export controls.

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