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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden issued an executive order Thursday that would ban Americans from investing in companies linked to China's military and its surveillance activities.

Why it matters: Biden's executive order is an expansion of one issued by the Trump administration in November 2020, and it shows that the Biden administration is "continuing some of the hard-line China policies left by former President Donald Trump," according to the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: The Trump administration's executive order banned Americans from investing in 31 companies linked to the Chinese government.

  • Biden's executive order expands on the order, listing 59 companies and includes Chinese technology firms that make or deploy surveillance technology that contributes to the "surveillance of religious or ethnic minorities or otherwise facilitate repression and serious human rights abuses," per the White House press release.
  • The goal of the executive order is to "ensure that U.S. investments are not supporting Chinese companies that undermine the security or values of the United States and our allies," per the release.
  • The ban will take effect on Aug. 2, but investors will be allowed to conduct trades over the next year in order to divest themselves of their holdings in the banned companies, per the Financial Times.

Of note: In order to effectively crack down on China's use of surveillance technology, the U.S. would need to convince its allies in Europe, as well as Japan and South Korea, to also institute similar investment bans, the New York Times notes.

Go deeper

Biden mandates COVID vaccines for federal workers, with no option for testing

President Biden speaks on workers rights and labor unions in the East Room at the White House on September 08, 2021. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday signed executive orders requiring most federal employees to get the COVID vaccine, without the option of getting regular testing instead.

Why it matters: The orders go further than the Biden administration's previously announced policy, which required federal workers to be vaccinated or follow other rigorous safety protocols, including regular testing.

Biden plans COVID vaccine mandate for 80 million private sector employees

President Biden speaks on workers' rights and labor unions at the White House on Sept. 8. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

More than 80 million Americans working in the private sector will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or produce a negative test result at least once a week, a senior Biden administration official said Thursday.

Why it matters: The new rule, to be developed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), underscores the Biden administration's ramped-up efforts to control the virus as cases and hospitalizations largely driven by the Delta variant surge nationwide.

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

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