Consumers’ Research Urges Ten Governors to Divest State Pension Funds from China-Investing BlackRock

Face to face of US dollar banknote and China Yuan banknote
Getty Images/Dilok Klaisataporn

A consumer group is urging ten governors that their state pension plans are putting national security and their financial soundness at risk by trusting funds to BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager.

Consumers’ Research, an educational nonprofit dedicated to consumer information, has been critical of BlackRock in the past because of the firm’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The letters are addressed to the governors of 10 states–Washington, Florida, New York, Nevada, Nebraska, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Montana, and West Virginia — whose public pensions are heavily invested with BlackRock.

“BlackRock’s unabashed gusto for Chinese markets flies in the face of concerns about China’s ascendant standing in the world, its authoritarian model of government, and its ambitions to supplant the U.S. as the pre-eminent world power,” the letter stated.

The group also sent a Consumer Warning to “raise awareness among American consumers that BlackRock is taking their money and betting on China.”

“Today, BlackRock manages trillions of dollars of Americans’ hard-earned money,” said Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research, in a statement. “Consumers deserve to know what BlackRock is doing with that money. What we’ve seen is that while BlackRock is virtue signaling in the United States, they’re aiding our adversaries with American pension dollars.”

“BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, has become a trusted partner with China’s communist leadership,” the letter stated, acknowledging the company’s CCP ties start at the top with the CEO. “So much so that he has been summoned to consult with them multiple times: during economic downturns and even when China was involved in trade negotiations with the United States, choosing China over America.”

The Consumer Warning explained that consumer risks of the BlackRock’s dealing with the CCP, as well as the top states, that have billions of dollars invested with the company:

  • Washington has $13 billion invested
  • Florida has $10.7 billion invested
  • New York has $9.8 billion invested
  • Nevada has $9.7 billion invested
  • Nebraska has $9.4 billion invested
  • South Carolina has $9.3 Billion invested
  • Oklahoma has $5.8 billion invested
  • Pennsylvania has $3.5 billion invested
  • Montana has $2.9 billion invested
  • West Virginia has $2.1 billion invested

“BlackRock claims environmental and social priorities are at the forefront of its investment approach, but BlackRock continues to prioritize investment in China – which is the world’s largest polluter and has a horrific human rights record,” the Consumer Warning added

“Warning Florida’s pension fund invests $10.7 billion with BlackRock, but BlackRock is using hardworking Americans’ money to support companies tied to the Chinese Communist Party. Even their military. Warning, BlackRock is taking your money and betting on China,” the ad narrator said in the Florida-specific ad.

This all comes as the 2021 Annual Report to Congress highlighted economic and national security risks the U.S. faces when dealing with China.

However, BlackRock has doubled down, saying it is now time to buy China stocks. “BlackRock Inc. is trimming its investments in Indian equities and becoming more optimistic on China on attractive valuations amid expectations that policy hurdles will ease next year,” Bloomberg indicated.

“We cannot let executives like Larry Fink try and tell Americans how to live while simultaneously cozying up to one of the world’s leading human rights abusers,” Hild added. “Telling Americans how to behave, while ignoring China’s many environmental and human rights abuses is hypocritical in the worst way. Consumers deserve to know when woke companies are taking advantage of them and misusing their assets.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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