On January 14, 2021, the Trump administration imposed an investment ban on the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), due to the alleged ties to the Chinese military.
The State-owned plane manufacturer COMAC, together with nine other companies, were added to Pentagon’s blacklist and will be facing a US investment ban. By November 2021, US investors will need to pull out their holdings in the now-blacklisted companies.
If the US Department of Commerce connects COMAC to the military, it will prevent the manufacturer from purchasing US-built goods. This could be a hard hit for COMAC as it relies on American imports for its jet engines and other parts. About 60% of COMAC’s C919’s, a competitor to the Boeing 737 model, suppliers are American companies. The ban could halt the new jet’s development indefinitely.
The ban, which could still be reversed by the new administration after the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden, was issued for China’s alleged misdeeds in the South China Sea. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions were directed against those “responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.”
On January 15, 2021, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China strongly opposes the sanctions on its officials and companies, as well as an investment ban on its firms.