Republican senators want to bar US government from using ZTE, Huawei devices

Republican senators want to bar US government from using ZTE, Huawei devices

Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump GOP senators work to get Trump on board with new disaster aid package MORE (R-Fla.) introduced legislation on Wednesday to prevent the U.S. government from using products from certain Chinese telecommunications firms.

The impetus for Cotton and Rubio’s legislation is concern over the Chinese government using hypothetical backdoors in ZTE and Huawei phones to spy on U.S. government officials.

"Huawei is effectively an arm of the Chinese government, and it's more than capable of stealing information from U.S. officials by hacking its devices," Cotton said in a statement. "There are plenty of other companies that can meet our technology needs, and we shouldn't make it any easier for China to spy on us."

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Reps. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayOn 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 On The Money: New tariffs on China pose major risk for Trump | Senators sound alarm over looming budget battles | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders team up against payday lenders MORE (R-Texas) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyAmash storm hits Capitol Hill The GOP's commitment to electing talented women can help party retake the House GOP launches anti-BDS discharge petition MORE (R-Wyo.) also have legislation in the House calling for similar measures against Chinese tech.

“We don’t want undisclosed backdoors into our systems,” Conaway told The Hill last month.

“The relationship those companies have with different Chinese intelligence agencies themselves and their government — it’s opaque. We don’t know what is or isn’t there.”

The proposed legislation comes amid a growing push from the U.S. government to cut ties with Chinese telecommunications firms.

Last month, lawmakers reportedly pushed AT&T to nix a plan to offer Huawei devices to customers.

The White House has also blocked multiple attempts by U.S. firms to acquire Chinese telecommunications companies due to national security concerns.