August 26, 2022

Van Hollen Statement on Agreement to Protect U.S. Investors, Ensure Businesses from China and Hong Kong Operating on U.S. Markets Are Held to Rigorous Standards

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the Security and Exchange Commission’s announcement today that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has come to an agreement that establishes a specific and accountable framework for the PCAOB to conduct inspections and investigations of PCAOB-registered public accounting firms in China and Hong Kong, which if complied with, will ensure American investors are protected through rigorous audits of the companies. This agreement is a necessary step to ensure that for the first time ever – pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, authored by Senators Van Hollen and Kennedy – Chinese companies operating on U.S. markets are held to the same standards as other foreign companies, reducing risk for American investors.

“Foreign companies operating on U.S. markets should be held to the same standards across the board. That’s why I introduced – and worked to pass into law – our Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act to require that all foreign companies tapping into U.S. capital markets comply with rules designed to protect investors in those markets – including retirees, parents building their child’s college funds, and many others. I applaud today’s action by the PCAOB – achieving the crucial first step of getting the Chinese government to agree to these requirements – which for the first time will ensure all companies operating in U.S. markets are held to the same audit standards. Moving forward we must closely monitor China’s compliance to the agreement – we’ll be watching what they do, not just what they say.”