The U.S. Government is poised to invest billions of taxpayer dollars in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled companies via the U.S. Government retirement system, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) which is managed by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB). The TSP’s Mutual Fund Window initiative is scheduled to begin June 1 barring White House or Congressional intervention. To date, no proper due diligence or screening has been performed by the FRTIB regarding which mutual funds will be included in the new TSP platform to ensure that they do not include U.S.-sanctioned or other Chinese corporate “bad actors.”
CPA believes that the only way to protect taxpayers’ and America’s military and civil services’ retirements — both past and present — is to permanently put a stop to any investment of the TSP into Chinese equities. This starts by a full-on halt of the planned Mutual Fund Window.
- Click here for the CPA Data Sheet on just some of the companies we are concerned about investing in via the mutual fund window
- Click here for the downloadable one pager on the topic
- Click here to download a FAQ page
- Click here to see CPA’s latest press release on the issue
- Click here to go the NoTSPforCCP.org homepage
At the beginning of June, the FRTIB plans to enable TSP participants to invest up to 25% of their savings (minimum of $10,000) in one or more of 5,000 mutual funds via a new platform called the “Mutual Fund Window.” While the mutual funds to be included in this offering have yet to be identified, given that there are more than 5,000 mutual funds anticipated to be included, it is a certainty that at least some of them will include CCP-controlled companies in their investment portfolios.
The FRTIB has declared  it has neither the time, expertise, nor the resources to examine whether mutual funds it will be offering current and retired federal employees, military personnel, and veterans, have any CCP companies in their portfolios, to say nothing of sanctioned companies. In addition, the FRTIB continues to claim they are unable to remove Hong Kong from the International or “I” Fund.
As of now, due to the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  between the U.S. Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and Chinese securities regulators, not one of the Chinese-domiciled companies potentially included in these mutual funds will be compliant with federal securities laws and regulations, including U.S. government-mandated audits designed to protect American investors.
Just like when CPA fought this issue in 2020 , the prospect that American servicemen and women and other government employees will be put in a position of funding their country’s leading adversary – including quite possibly its acquisition of improved capabilities through financing the PLA’s military modernization – is once again occurring due to the continued negligence of TSP mangers and other government officials.
CCP-controlled companies should not be financed through the pension funds of U.S. government employees. FRTIB should not be allowed to abdicate its material risk disclosure, due diligence, or full fiduciary responsibilities to our military and federal workforce.
The opening of the proposed TSP Mutual Fund Window must be postponed until all mutual funds proposed for inclusion publicly disclose: 1) whether they hold in portfolio any Chinese-domiciled companies (including those based in Hong Kong); 2) whether any such company has been officially sanctioned or otherwise watch-listed by an agency of the United States government; and 3) whether any such companies are non-compliant with U.S. securities laws and regulations, including PCAOB audit requirements.
By some estimates, thanks substantially to the 2013 bilateral MOU between the PCAOB and Chinese securities regulators that preserved publicly listed Chinese companies’ preferential access to our capital markets, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and his Wall Street counterparts have transferred as much as $3 trillion to China. Those sums have ended up funding China’s unprecedented military build-up; its One Belt One Road Initiative; gross violations of human rights, including the genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs; predatory and market distorting trade practices; and the wholesale theft of American technology and intellectual property. Among such Chinese companies are firms sanctioned by the U.S. government for their role in enhancing the threats to our national security posed by the PLA and egregious human rights violations.
In 2020, BlackRock—as the lead asset manager  of the investment portfolio of the Thrift Savings Plan, the nation’s largest pension fund—advised to give CCP-controlled companies access to the retirement savings of its over 6 million TSP participants, i.e., military and civilian government employees, past and present. BlackRock continues to be one of the most vocal investment managers encouraging expanded investment  in China, and in 2021 became the first U.S. investment management firm to provide investment products directly to Chinese retail investors.
In May 2020, the Department of State notified Congress that the passage of the Beijing-drafted National Security Law obviated the distinction between Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, and that Hong Kong could no longer be considered autonomous. Despite this determination, the FRTIB, has refused to remove 35 Chinese companies from the International Fund of the TSP under the pretext that they were admissible because they were based in Hong Kong at the time of their inclusion in the fund.
In May 2020, the Trump administration blocked  a change of indexes governing the TSP International or “I” Fund that would have included Chinese companies, some of which were sanctioned by the United States. This action was followed in November 2020 with Executive Order 13959 , titled “Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies,” effectively prohibiting U.S. capital investment in Chinese companies tied to the PLA.
In June 2021, the Biden administration amended and strengthened E.O. 13959 by issuing E.O. 14032 , “Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments That Finance Certain Companies of the People’s Republic of China.” E.O. 14032 expanded the scope of restrictions on investment to include surveillance technology industry and “military-civil fusion” operations. The E.O. specifically addressed the prospect of unwitting American investors funding Chinese military companies and certain human rights abusers as cause for imposing capital markets sanctions against such companies.
 May 2021 TSP FRTIB and Employee Thrift Advisory Council Meeting Minutes: https://www.frtib.gov/meeting_minutes/2021/2021May.pdf
 May 2020 FT article on US halt to new Chinese investment of the TSP: https://www.ft.com/content/9bcc0af2-32fb-4444-9976-f3e7a2e20883
 TSP announcement of State Street taking over a small portfolio of assets to manage, leaving BlackRock managing approximately 80% of funds: https://www.tsp.gov/plan-news/Second-investment-manager-to-be-added/
 Bloomberg article on BlackRock’s China mutual fund: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-08/blackrock-sets-up-1-billion-maiden-china-fund-as-soros-laments#:~:text=BlackRock%20Inc.,investment%20a%20%E2%80%9Ctragic%20mistake.%E2%80%9D
 May 2020 article on the halt of new indexes for the TSP IFund: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/tsp/2020/05/trump-administration-directs-tsp-board-to-immediately-halt-planned-i-fund-changes/
 EO 13959: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/13959.pdf
 EO 14032: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/14032.pdf