A group of senators introduced a bipartisan piece of legislation on Tuesday that will limit the Trump administration’s abilities to grant exemption regarding restrictions imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei without an act of Congress.
The Defending America’s 5G Future Act, led by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), would block the Trump administration from single-handedly allowing Huawei to conduct business with American companies.
If approved, it would also keep the Commerce Department from removing the Chinese company from its Entity List, codifying a recent Trump administration executive order. That list prevents companies like Huawei from purchasing US tech without government approval.
The group of lawmakers signed onto the bill have long sought to block Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE from the American market. Senators like Marco Rubio (R-FL) helped to spearhead efforts last summer, and called the administration’s recent moves to scale back on Huawei a catastrophic mistake.
Rubio, along with Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are co-sponsoring the Senate version of the legislation, which will also be introduced in the House.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said: “We must make a concerted effort to confront the threat China poses to U.S. national security, intellectual property, and technology. Our bill will prohibit U.S.-based companies from doing business with Huawei until they no longer pose a national security threat.”
Few days ago, Trump announced that the administration will soon grant exemptions for Huawei to allow it to continue to do business with US companies, but now it looks like it couldn’t be possible as lawmakers on both sides believe these Chinese companies pose significant national security threats.
“Huawei isn’t a normal business partner for American companies, it’s a front for the Chinese Communist Party. Our bill reinforces the president’s decision to place Huawei on a technology blacklist. American companies shouldn’t be in the business of selling our enemies the tools they’ll use to spy on Americans,” said Cotton.