Chinese companies should be delisted from American exchanges if they don't follow U.S. securities laws, Sen. Marco Rubio told CNBC on Tuesday.
Delisting Chinese companies has "nothing to do with trade," the Florida Republican said on "Squawk Alley," referring to trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. "This is a national security and human rights matter."
Rubio, who ran for president in 2016, and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, are co-sponsors of a bill to increase oversight of Chinese and other foreign companies listed on American stock exchanges. The legislation calls for delisting firms that are out of compliance with U.S. regulators for a period of three years.
Proponents say it would reduce irregularities seen from U.S.-listed Chinese companies, some of which don't follow the same regulatory rules as American companies.
The bill comes as the U.S. and China are set to resume high-level trade negotiations later this week. Multiple outlets reported last month that the Trump administration was exploring ways to limit U.S. investments in China, including a plan to stop Chinese companies listing on American exchanges.
However, White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Monday that delisting Chinese firms was "not on the table."
Rubio denied the legislation was aimed at the trade dispute, saying, "Trade deals are not very good if they require you to give in or jeopardize your national security or your values as a nation."
He added: "Our capital markets are the deepest and most liquid in the world. But we have high standards for disclosure and transparency."