Lawmakers push AT&T to stop working with Huawei: report

Lawmakers push AT&T to stop working with Huawei: report
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Lawmakers are pushing AT&T to sever its ties with Chinese phone company Huawei and to reject telecommunications company China Mobile Ltd.’s plans to break into the U.S. market, Reuters reported on Tuesday

The move, which congressional aides said is motivated by national security concerns, comes amid mounting pressure from the government to curb Chinese firms’ entry into U.S. markets.

Earlier in January, AT&T scrapped a plan to offer Huawei phones following pressure from lawmakers. The government also recently blocked several attempted Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies.

The unnamed lawmakers are also reportedly suggesting to other businesses that working with Chinese firms could inhibit their ability to work with the U.S. government, according to Reuters.

“The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications. China’s participation in setting the standards and selling the equipment raises many national security issues that demand strict and prompt attention,” Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was set up by Congress, told the news outlet.

Two Republican lawmakers, Reps. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLobbying world On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs GOP offers support for Trump on China tariffs MORE (Texas) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyLiz Cheney calls Ayanna Pressley's comments at Netroots Nation 'racist' Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei Cheney blasts Ocasio-Cortez over DHS dissolution MORE (Wyo.), introduced legislation this week that would keep the government from entering contracts with Huawei or ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications company.

Over the past year, the U.S. government has taken measures to ban the government's use of software manufactured by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, citing national security concerns as well.

In 2012, the House Intelligence Committee issued a report criticizing Huawei and ZTE's close ties to the Chinese government and accusing the two firms of stealing American intellectual property.