GOP senators warn Microsoft of 'urgent' threat from Huawei

GOP senators warn Microsoft of 'urgent' threat from Huawei
© Getty Images

Five Republican senators sent a letter to Microsoft on Tuesday stressing that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei poses a “real and urgent” threat after an executive at the American tech giant complained the U.S. hasn't been open about why Huawei was blacklisted.

The letter from GOP Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (Ark.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCheese, wine importers reeling from Trump trade fight Peace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela MORE (Fla.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenate Democrats introduce legislation to change impeachment trial rules Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts four Chinese military officers over Equifax hack | Amazon seeks Trump deposition in 'war cloud' lawsuit | Inside Trump's budget | Republican proposes FTC overhaul GOP senator proposes overhauling federal agency to confront Big Tech MORE (Mo.) and Mike BraunMichael BraunOvernight Health Care: Ernst endorses bipartisan bill to lower drug prices | US partnering with drugmakers on coronavirus vaccine | UN chief says virus poses 'enormous' risks Senators, bruised by impeachment, hunt for deals Plan to probe Bidens sparks GOP divisions MORE (Ind.) to Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith details several allegations of “espionage activities” and “technology theft and economic warfare."

ADVERTISEMENT
President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE in May directed the Commerce Department to place Huawei on its "Entity List." U.S. companies are forbidden from doing business with firms on the list, but the government has granted Huawei multiple "general temporary licenses" since.  

The U.S. has long considered Huawei a national security threat because of its deep connections to the Chinese government.

Smith last month in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek said that Microsoft has asked U.S. regulators to explain the decision to blacklist Huawei multiple times.

“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,’” Smith said. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.’”

In their letter Monday, the senators said that publicly available information is enough to prove Huawei should be reprimanded.

“We also understand that many American companies have conducted business in good faith with Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies," they wrote.

"While the U.S. government and American industry must take certain steps to protect our people and our telecommunications infrastructure, we do not want to cause undue harm to those American companies. We believe, however, that a review of publicly available evidence indicates that the security concerns about Huawei are real and urgent.”