Trump signs bill that could kick Chinese companies out of US stock exchanges

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday signed legislation that would expel Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges unless they meet U.S. auditing standards, the White House said, giving the Republican a tool more to threaten Beijing before leaving office. next month.

The “Foreign Company Holdings Liability Act” prohibits the securities of foreign companies from listing on a US stock exchange if they have failed to comply with audits by the US Public Accountancy Oversight Council for three consecutive years.

Although it applies to companies from any country, the sponsors of the legislation intended to target Chinese companies listed in the United States, such as Alibaba (9988.HK), technology company Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O) and oil giant PetroChina Co Ltd.

The legislation, like many others taking a harder line on Chinese businesses, had passed Congress by a wide margin earlier this year. Lawmakers – both Democrats and Trump’s Republicans – echo the president’s tough line against Beijing, which has grown fiercer this year as Trump blamed China for the coronavirus ravaging the United States.

The law would also require public companies to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government.

The Chinese dismissed the measure as a discriminatory official policy that politically oppresses Chinese companies.

Chinese authorities have long been reluctant to let foreign regulators inspect local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.

Reporting by Eric BeechEditing by Chris Reese

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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