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Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei

Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei
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Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced legislation Tuesday to keep Chinese telecommunications group Huawei out of U.S. fifth generation (5G) networks and prevent U.S. companies from doing business with the company many have deemed a national security threat. 

The Defending America’s 5G Future Act would prevent Huawei from being removed from the Commerce Department’s “entity list” without an act of Congress. Being included on this list is seen as a death sentence, as it bans U.S. companies from doing business with that entity. 

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The bill would also give Congress the power to block administration waivers for U.S. companies to do business with Huawei.

Further, the legislation would codify President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s May executive order, which empowers the Trump administration to block foreign tech companies deemed a national security threat from doing business in the U.S. 

Huawei was added to the entity list in May, though the Commerce Department granted a 90-day extension before this went into effect to give American companies time to adjust. 

However, the move was thrown into question when President Trump announced at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last month that U.S. companies would be allowed to sell equipment to Huawei if there were no national security concerns involved, prompting a wave of bipartisan criticism of this decision on Capitol Hill. 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossCensus Bureau can't meet Trump's deadline for data on undocumented immigrants: report On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck It's time to reckon with space junk MORE subsequently announced that his department will issue licenses to U.S. companies to sell products to Huawei in cases where there is no national security risk.

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Warnock hit by Republicans over 'cannot serve God and the military' comment MORE (R-Ark.), one of the primary sponsors of the Senate version of the bill, along with Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.), described Huawei in a statement as “a front for the Chinese Communist Party.” Cotton added, “American companies shouldn’t be in the business of selling our enemies the tools they’ll use to spy on Americans.”

Van Hollen said that “the best way to address the national security threat we face from China’s telecommunications companies is to draw a clear line in the sand and stop retreating every time Beijing pushes back,” adding that Trump “shouldn’t be able to trade away” national security concerns.  

Other Senate sponsors include Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE (R-Fla.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLeadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns IRS races to get remaining stimulus checks to low-income households Hillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software MORE (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump MORE (R-Utah.) 

In the House, Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherReestablishing American prosperity by investing in the 'Badger Belt' Actors union blasts Democrat for criticizing GOP lawmaker's wife Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats MORE (R-Wis.) is the primary sponsor, with co-sponsors including Reps. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaAmericans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance On The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits Bipartisan bill introduced to provide tax credit to food and beverage distributors MORE (D-Calif.), Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied MORE (R-Wyo.) and Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoFavorites emerge as Latino leaders press Biden to appoint 5 Hispanics to Cabinet Tony Cárdenas casts himself as man to lead DCCC through fire Hispanic Caucus endorses Cárdenas to lead DCCC MORE (D-Ariz.). 

Gallagher also described Huawei as “an appendage of the Chinese Communist Party,” and said he hoped the bill would “ensure American innovation does not fuel Huawei’s CCP-directed campaign to dominate the global telecommunications market.”