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Biden signs executive order expanding bans on investment in Chinese firms

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday expanding a Trump-era ban on investment into Chinese companies to include defense and surveillance technology firms. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Thursday expanding a Trump-era ban on investment into Chinese companies to include defense and surveillance technology firms. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order expanding a Trump administration ban on U.S. investment in Chinese companies deemed national security threats.

The order builds on an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump on Nov. 12, 2020, banning U.S. investors from trading stock in companies associated with the Chinese military, expanding it to include investments in Chinese defense and surveillance technology firms.

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Biden's order designated 11 additional Chinese firms that U.S. investors are prohibited from trading with, bringing the total to 59.

The executive order also shifts responsibility for identifying the banned companies from the Department of Defense to the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In a letter to Congress announcing the measure, Biden said the use and development of Chinese surveillance technology "to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuse, constitute unusual and extraordinary threats" to U.S. national security, foreign policy and economy.

"This E.O. prevents U.S. investment from supporting the Chinese defense sector, while also expanding the U.S. government's ability to address the threat of Chinese surveillance technology firms that contribute -- both inside and outside China -- to the surveillance of religious or ethnic minorities or otherwise facilitate repression and serious human rights abuses," the White House said in a fact sheet.

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