Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, a vocal critic of China and its enterprises, has acquired and sold stock and options in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba since last summer after worries about similar purchases were raised, according to disclosure forms.
After learning that Alibaba stock was in his portfolio, the Republican's spokesperson informed CNBC in July that he had directed his financial advisors to sell a tiny investment in the business in mid-2020.When the former Auburn University football coach was running for Senate, he sold shares for less than $5,000.
Tuberville was found guilty in July of violating the STOCK Act, a federal financial transparency regulation, by failing to file disclosures for around 130 stock and stock option trades from January to May 2021 within the 45-day timeframe.
Among the transactions was the sale of equity put options for Alibaba Group Holding on January 25, 2021.
The put options, which gave their holders the ability to sell Alibaba at a $230 share price by Sept. 19, were sold for $15,001 to $50,000.That sale took place months after his spokesman outlined the selling of Alibaba shares.
Tuberville, according to his spokeswoman at the time, was unaware of the trades because they were handled by his financial advisors.
Tuberville and his wife had jointly acquired put options on Alibaba for between $15,001 and $50,000 earlier that month, while selling put options in the business at a slightly lower strike price worth the same amount on the same day.
Tuberville finally revealed the transactions in a report he submitted in August, following press headlines about his STOCK Act violations.
Another report indicates that on Sept. 13, Tuberville and his wife sold Alibaba options with a $230 strike price and acquired Alibaba put options with the same strike price in four different deals. Those trades totaled between $80,000 and $215,000 in value.
When queried about his joint account's recent Alibaba stock purchases on Wednesday, the representative again directed to his financial advisors.
“Senator Tuberville has long had financial advisors who actively manage his portfolio without his day-to-day involvement,” she said in an email.
When asked if Tuberville now plans to tell those advisors to not trade in the shares of Alibaba or other Chinese companies given his criticism of China, the spokeswoman said, “Of course.”Tuberville claimed he and his wife acquired Alibaba Group Holding American depositary shares worth between $50,001 and $100,000 on Dec. 14 through their joint account, according to his financial declaration filed Wednesday.
According to the filing, the Tubervilles acquired Alibaba shares in the same range the next day, allowing lawmakers to disclose transactions in ranges rather than specific quantities.
According to the filing, the Tuberville account purchased Alibaba shares worth between $15,001 and $50,000 on December 21.
The couple subsequently performed a "partial" sale of Alibaba shares on Dec. 23 that the senator described on the form as being between $50,001 and $100,000.
The Twitter account belonging to congresstrading.com, which tracks lawmakers’ disclosure filings, notified CNBC of Tuberville’s purchases of Alibaba stock.
Breaking: Senator Tuberville just reported purchasing stock in Chinese company Alibaba $BABA despite publicly chastising US investment in China. Listen to this video, it's as hypocritical as politics gets. Report is consolidated. https://t.co/CahWktBEcq pic.twitter.com/AQ0aXPxH73— congresstrading.com (@congresstrading) January 12, 2022
Tuberville applauded President Joe Biden in June for releasing an executive order that would empower the US to block US investments in Chinese enterprises that the White House believes would jeopardize the US and its allies' security or democratic ideals.
"Chinese firms consistently violate US sanction laws and actively promote the Chinese Communist Party's military growth and persecution of religious minorities," Tuberville stated at the time.
Tuberville presented the Prohibiting TSP Investment in China Act in May, which would prohibit federal Thrift Savings Plans from investing in Chinese companies indefinitely.According to the statement, Tuberville and his wife acquired Stratasys stock for between $15,001 and $50,000 and sold a portion of Apple shares worth between $50,001 and $100,000 last month, in addition to the Alibaba trades.
Invesco QQQ Trust, Series 1, and Cleveland Cliffs stock options were also purchased, while PayPal and ChannelAdvisor stock options were sold.
Tuberville's own account acquired a commodities futures contract for the delivery of cattle in April for between $1,001 and $15,000.