Romney Was Right: Obama Has Investments in Chinese Companies, Cayman Islands

Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 12:43 PM

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Mitt Romney was correct when during the presidential debate on Tuesday he said President Barack Obama had investments in Chinese companies through a Cayman Islands trust, according to PolitiFact.com.

Obama early in the debate took a shot at Romney when the Republican presidential nominee said he would crack down on unfair trade practices with China. The president said Romney is invested in companies "that are building surveillance equipment for China to spy on its own folks."

Romney turned the tables on Obama, asking, "Mr. President, have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension?"

Obama retorted: "You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long. I don’t check it that often."

Romney followed up and said: "Let me give you some advice. Look at your pension. You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Caymans trust."

PolitiFact checked with the Illinois State Board of Investment, which administers the state employees’ retirement system. Obama was an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004 before being elected to the U.S. Senate and is a participant in the General Assembly Retirement System in Illinois.

The pension fund has a holding in an entity that is part of global private equity firm Advent International. The pension fund has invested $30 million in one of Advent’s limited partnerships, which was organized in the Cayman Islands, according to PolitiFact.com

The Illinois pension fund has numerous foreign investments, including in Chinese companies, according to the website.

Neither Obama nor any other participant in the retirement system has anything to do with selecting investments for the fund, according to PolitiFact.com.

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