By Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed for an audit Monday that could result in Florida’s pension system divesting holdings in Chinese companies, calling economic efforts to include China’s government on the world stage a “big failure.”
DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, meeting at the Capitol as the State Board of Administration, directed a review of Florida Retirement System investments to find links to the Communist Party of China.
“I think that the U.S. as a whole should be disentangling from China,” DeSantis said. “But, certainly, our investments should be disentangling.”
Patronis said too many federal leaders have been “MIA on China,” and while it is a source of cheap goods, China hasn’t played by the rules regarding intellectual property or trade.
“We’ve seen their influences, you know, penetrate Hollywood and Washington,” Patronis said. “But between COVID and supply chain issues, we realize how dependent our country’s become on China.”
Lamar Taylor, the interim executive director and chief investment officer of the State Board of Administration, estimated that about 3 percent of the state’s investments are with Chinese companies.
The board invests money from the Florida Retirement System, along with 25 other funds, and manages the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
The agency oversees…