Thursday, January 18, 2024
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, Missouri State Treasurer Vivek Malek announced his support for Representative Brian Seitz’s (R-Branson) House Bill 2143, or the Foreign Adversary Divestment Act. The bill would require all public investments, from pensions to public college endowments, to divest from counties who the United States have either sanctioned or classified as adversaries. The countries include the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro, and the Syrian Arab Republic.
“Last December I led an effort to divest the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System from Communist China. It was the right thing to do because for many reasons, China is a bad investment.” Malek added, “When I was sworn in last January, I pledged to Missourians that I would protect taxpayers’ money. I did so because I felt it was the duty of the Missouri State Treasurer to ensure investments are safe while earning the best rate of return for Missourians. In keeping with that promise, I am proud to announce my support for Representative Seitz’s Foreign Adversary Divestment Act.”
Recently, Tennessee and a handful of other states have disallowed investments in China in some of their funds. Those funds have outperformed as a result because returns have been very poor in China. Indiana recently enacted a similar bill, and the governors of South Dakota, Texas, Mississippi, and Iowa have asked for more emerging markets funds without exposure to adversary nations. States that held Russian assets before the invasion of Ukraine lost a lot of money after America sanctioned Russia.
Treasurer Malek strongly supports HB 2143 and shall assist Representative Seitz in getting the bill passed.
Text for the bill can be found here: https://house.mo.gov/bill.aspx?bill=HB2143&year=2024&code=R