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Democratic candidates say they would not allow Chinese companies to build critical US infrastructure

Democratic candidates say they would not allow Chinese companies to build critical US infrastructure
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Three candidates in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C., said they would not allow Chinese companies to build critical infrastructure in the U.S.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Helping students make informed decisions on college Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (Mass.) all said yes when they were asked by the CBS News moderators if they would bar Chinese companies from building critical infrastructure, although the discussion moved quickly into releasing tax returns.

Sixteen infrastructure sectors are classified as critical by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018, including energy, financial services and communications.

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Although the Democratic White House hopefuls didn't highlight a specific sector, Congress and the White House have been actively debating how to deal with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

The company, which is the world's largest producer of telecom equipment, is heavily involved in the worldwide move to fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies.

It also provides software and hardware to many companies in rural America at comparatively low prices.

The administration and Congress have deemed Huawei a national security threat because of its ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

The Department of Commerce placed Huawei on its “entity list” in May 2019, preventing U.S. firms from conducting business with the company unless they obtain a specific license.

However, Huawei’s full inclusion on this list has been delayed multiple times to avoid disruptions to U.S. tech firms that have deals with it.

The Trump administration has also made it a priority to convince allied countries to exclude Huawei from the buildout of 5G networks.

Multiple members of Congress have introduced bills to restrict Huawei from working with American companies in communications and energy sectors.