GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville rails against Chinese companies — and quietly invests in their stock

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of Alibaba, disclosure records show

By Alex Henderson

Published January 14, 2022 4:12PM (EST)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama (SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama (SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has been a vehement critic of companies based in Mainland China. But according to CNBC, the Republican senator has been buying stock in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba — which is based not in Taiwan or Hong Kong, but in Hangzhou, Zhejiang in the People's Republic of China.

CNBC's Dan Mangan reports, "Tuberville, as recently as December, made three separate purchases with his wife, Suzanne Tuberville, of Alibaba shares valued at as much as $300,000 in total, according to a financial disclosure report filed Wednesday. In July, the Republican's spokeswoman told CNBC that in mid-2020, he had ordered his financial advisors to sell off a small stake in Alibaba stock after becoming aware it was in his portfolio."

The Alibaba group, founded in 1999, has been in business for 23 years and is a major player in e-commerce in the People's Republic of China — which, after the death of dictator Mao Tse Tung in 1976, went from strict communism to having more of a Marxist/crony capitalist mixture. Many products sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Mainland China.


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"In July," according to Mangan, "(Sen. Tuberville's) spokeswoman told CNBC that in mid-2020, he had ordered his financial advisors to sell off a small stake in Alibaba stock after becoming aware it was in his portfolio. That previous sale of shares, then valued at less than $5000, occurred when the former Auburn University football coach was running for the Senate seat. Tuberville was revealed, in July, as having violated a federal financial transparency law, the STOCK Act, by failing to file disclosures of about 130 stock and stock options trades from January 2021 through May 2021 within a 45-day deadline."

Sen. Tuberville's trades, Mangan notes, "included a January 25, 2021 sale of stock put options for Alibaba Group Holding."

"The sale of the put options — which would give their holders the right to sell Alibaba at a share price of $230 by September 19 — was valued at $15,001 to $50,000," according to Mangan. "That sale occurred months after the divestment of Alibaba shares that his spokeswoman had described."

Tuberville was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020 after defeating former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a GOP primary and incumbent Democrat Doug Jones in the general election.

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