Trump ‘looking at’ Chinese companies trading on US stock exchanges

The US has its eye on Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges amid an escalating trade dispute with Beijing, President Donald Trump said.

The feds are “looking at” the idea of forcing Chinese firms to follow US accounting rules if they want to trade on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq markets, Trump told Fox Business Network in an interview broadcast Thursday.

“We’re looking at that very strongly,” he said.

The comments came as Trump continued to hammer China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences for the landmark trade deal between the US and Beijing.

The Trump administration reportedly considered blocking Chinese firms from US stock markets last year amid concerns about their transparency. More than 150 Chinese companies were listed on the three major American exchanges as of February 2019, according to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

But Trump acknowledged a possible backlash from such a crackdown, saying Chinese firms could just list their stocks elsewhere.

“I hate to say it, but let’s say we do that, right? So what are they going to do? They’re going to move their listing to London or someplace else,” Trump said.

The remarks came after the Trump administration pressured a federal pension board this week to scrap plans to invest about $4.5 billion in Chinese stocks.

The board overseeing the Thrift Savings Plan decided Wednesday to delay the plan, which called for its $40 billion international fund to track a global stock index that includes big Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Tencent.

US stocks tumbled after Trump’s interview Thursday morning, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping more than 200 points, or about 1 percent, in early trading.

With Post wires

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