As tensions between the U.S. and China worsen over the COVID-19 crisis, the senate on Wednesday, May 20, passed the legislation that would ban certain Chinese firms from listing shared on U.S. stock exchanges.

The bill, entitled the “ Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act,” will further prevent many Chinese companies from raising investment from American firms. It talks about delisting or banning many companies based in China and elsewhere from U.S. exchanges such as Nasdaq, NYSE and other exchanges for failing to comply with the U.S. securities laws.

The legislation was introduced over a year ago by Originally introduced by Senators John Kennedy and Chris Van Hollen in March 2019. Now passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, the bill makes it mandatory for companies to certify that they are not controlled or owned by foreign governments.

The company may risk ban or delisting if they fail to open their books to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for three consecutive years.

"China is on a glide path to dominance and is cheating at every turn. I hope my colleagues in the House will immediately send this bill to the president’s desk so we can protect Americans and their savings,” said Kennedy, the U.S. Senator for Lousiana, in a statement.

In the official press release, Kennedy further accused China of disregarding U.S. reporting standards and misleading investors. He further emphasized that in times of uncertainty amid COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, it is all the more important to protect the main street investors.

Last week, Trump revealed to a media house that he is looking into Chinese companies on U.S. exchanges that do not follow U.S. accounting rules. However, he did add that cracking down on them may shift their base to London or Hong Kong exchanges as it may backfire.

There has been a constant war of words between the U.S. and China ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the formed. The cold war seems to have intensified in the last few weeks, with Trump directly blaming China and the World Health Organization (WHO) for a delayed response and issuance of warning concerning the nature and scale of the pandemic.

Coronavirus - COVID 19 Japan Stock Exchange Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past an electric board showing the Nikkei 225 index (C) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on March 13, 2020. - Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index fell more than six percent, trimming losses following a global rout on fears of a recession linked to the coronavirus outbreak. PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images