WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a Senate Banking Committee member, issued the following statement on the Senate – by unanimous consent – passing S. 945, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act:
“Communist China routinely flouts congressionally established requirements for participating in US stock exchanges. Our Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act increases transparency, protects American investors, and prevents companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from continuing to exploit our financial system.”
Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) led this legislation, which protects American investors and their retirement savings from foreign companies that have been operating on US stock exchanges while flouting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversight.
“The SEC works hard to protect American investors from being swindled by American companies. It’s asinine that we’re giving Chinese companies the opportunity to exploit hardworking Americans—people who put their retirement and college savings in our exchanges—because we don’t insist on examining their books,” said Senator Kennedy. “There are plenty of markets all over the world open to cheaters, but America can’t afford to be one of them. China is on a glidepath to dominance and is cheating at every turn. I hope my colleagues in the House will immediately send this bill to the president’s desk so we can protect Americans and their savings.”
“As we continue to experience the economic fallout and volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to protect main street investors is all the more important. For too long, Chinese companies have disregarded U.S. reporting standards, misleading our investors,” said Van Hollen. “Publicly listed companies should all be held to the same standards, and this bill makes commonsense changes to level the playing field and give investors the transparency they need to make informed decisions. I’m proud that we were able to pass it today with overwhelming bipartisan support, and I urge our House colleagues to act quickly.”
The bill would also require public companies to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government, including China’s communist government.