“We know these Chinese companies do not play by the rules. There is absolutely no reason the retirement savings of service-members and federal employees should be funding companies working with the Chinese government and military,” Rubio told The Epoch Times.
The FRTIB and its Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a vehicle established by a 1984 reform proposed by President Ronald Reagan to convert the federal career civil service’s main retirement program from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution approach, such as those then being widely adopted in the corporate world.
Billions of dollars have since been invested by federal workers in the TSP, making it a potentially lucrative target for sellers of indexed investment tools made up of multiple countries from a wide variety of industries.
In the video, Rubio is shown in segments from multiple speeches on the Senate floor, in media interviews, and in public addresses explaining that sending the retirement savings of soldiers and civil servants to Chinese firms only strengthens America's most dangerous international adversary.
"It is a fact that when you are doing business with a Chinese company, you are ultimately doing business with the Chinese Communist Party," Rubio tells a business association in one segment.
In another clip from a Senate floor speech, Rubio tells colleagues, "Federal employees, including members of the House and Senate, your retirement dollars are helping capitalize companies that are actively trying to put American industry out of business forever."
In a third segment, Rubio says, "This is not a political game, it has nothing to do with that, it's not about politics. Do we not understand where we are headed? You have a country that is actively saying 'We are going to displace you, we are going to be the most powerful country in the world, and we are going to do that at your expense."
Rubio has from the start been fighting the move to allow such investments, which began in 2015 under President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Last month, Rubio, joined by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), warned FRTIB Acting Chairman David Jones that the board shouldn’t implement its proposed new Mutual Fund Window, which would enable investments in multiple Chinese firms, as well as firms based in other countries that represent serious national security problems for the United States.
Also warning the FRTIB at the same time was a bipartisan duo from the House: Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.).
“They do not want to invest in an opaque mutual fund platform in which Chinese companies do not adhere to federal securities laws or submit to adequate disclosure requirements. When they invest through TSP, they rightly expect the FRTIB will protect them and their investments from these types of dangerous investments."
In response to Rubio and the other members of Congress, the four Biden nominees agreed to oppose such investments.
"We fully support OFAC’s ability to exercise its authority and we commit that any company banned by OFAC, whether based in China or elsewhere, would not be included in any TSP fund.”
The four Biden nominees are Dana Bilyeu, Leona Bridges, Michael Gerber, and Stacie Olivares. If confirmed by the Senate, the nominees will join the five-member FRTIB. Rubio, who had previously put a hold on the nominations, said on June 2 that he's now removed his hold so the Senate can complete its consideration.