GOP rep introduces bill to block intelligence sharing with countries using Huawei for 5G
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at barring the United States from sharing intelligence with any countries that permit Huawei to operate their 5G networks.
“Huawei is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party to spy on and infiltrate other nations. Our allies must choose: Adopt Huawei and lose access to U.S. intelligence, or remain our trusted partner,” Banks said in a statement.
The legislation comes after the Department of Commerce placed the Chinese telecommunications giant on its blacklist last spring, preventing U.S. firms from working with Huawei without first obtaining a permit.
Proponents of the new bill — which include Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — argue that it’s a necessary step to prevent the Chinese government from spying on the country, saying the company poses a risk to U.S. national security.
Cheney, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, also called on the United Kingdom to refrain from doing business with the telecommunications company, arguing it could strain relations between Washington and London.
“Huawei is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and its efforts to infiltrate 5G are nefarious at their core. Allowing Huawei into the U.K.’s 5G networks would pose a national security threat that could not be mitigated or contained. Such a decision would necessarily have negative consequences for the U.S./U.K. relationship in many areas, including trade and intelligence cooperation,” she said in a statement in support of the measure.
“I hope that the U.K. unites with the U.S. and other allies against the threat from Huawei,” she added. “However, the U.S. must always be prepared to protect its national security interests.”
The United Kingdom is expected to announce whether it will use Huawei in its 5G networks in coming weeks.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) recently introduced companion legislation in the Senate.