US politicians took another shot at Huawei and ZTE, introducing a new measure that would block Chinese telecom companies which flout export control laws from buying US-made chips and components.
If voted into law, the bill would not only compel the President to enforce export denial orders on violators, but also prevent the executive branch from modifying the punishment “until the President certifies that the company has not violated US laws for one year and is fully cooperating with US investigations”.
Huawei and ZTE were both explicitly named in the text, though the measure also extends to any other telecom company headquartered in China.
The bill’s introduction came shortly after Huawei’s CFO was arrested in Canada over allegations the company violated trade sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.
It appears tailored to avoid a repeat of a situation involving ZTE in 2018, in which an export ban imposed on the company for sanction violations in April was lifted shortly after at the urging of President Donald Trump.
Senator Tom Cotton, who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement it represented “decisive action to protect US interests and enforce our laws”.
“If Chinese telecom companies like Huawei violate our sanctions or export control laws, they should receive nothing less than the death penalty, which this denial order would provide”.
Cotton’s comments are hardly hyperbole.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back