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Missouri Treasurer Malek announces support for the Foreign Adversary Divestment Act

Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek and State Representative Brian Seitz (photo taken January 18, 2024)
Michele Skalicky
Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek and State Representative Brian Seitz (photo taken January 18, 2024)

The bill was introduced by Missouri State Representative Brian Seitz, a Republican from Branson.

Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek said he supports a bill going through the Missouri Legislature this session known as the Foreign Adversary Divestment Act.

Representative Brian Seitz of Branson is hoping his legislation, House Bill 2143, will make it through the legislature this year.

He and Malek held a press conference Thursday at the Greene County Elections Center.

The bill would require all public investments – from pensions to public college endowments -- to divest from countries that the United States have either sanctioned or classified as adversaries. Those include China, Russia, Iran, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria.

“Not only should we not be investing in these countries for national security reasons, it doesn’t make fiscal sense to do so,” said Seitz. “These are bad investments with increasingly poor returns, and the citizens whose money is being put at risk deserve better.”

Malek called the bill “prudent.”

“This should not only be common sense but beyond partisan politics,” he said. “When foreign nations are adversaries of America, we should recognize it and stop funding those activities.”

Malek said he believes the bill’s impact will be positive. He said those who have to divest of funds can reinvest them in other places.

If the bill passes, he said the Missouri Treasurer’s Office will have six months to come up with a list of investments tied to those countries.

Public universities and state and local governments will have two years to divest of those funds.