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Trump Administration Moves To Halt Pension Fund Investment in Chinese Stocks

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks to reporters at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration is pressing a board charged with overseeing billions in federal retirement dollars to halt plans to invest in Chinese companies that Washington suspects of abusing human rights or threatening U.S. security.

On Monday, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow sent a letter to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia opposing plans by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) to allow a pension fund it oversees to track an index that includes some China-based stocks of companies under scrutiny in Washington.

The same day, Scalia wrote to Board Chair Michael Kennedy, urging him to "halt all steps" associated with the investment change, according to documents seen by Reuters and previously reported by Bloomberg and Fox Business News.