US politicians detailed a bipartisan bill which would sanction Huawei and other China-based 5G technology vendors by cutting them off from financial institutions, the latest step in a wide-ranging clamp down based on national security grounds.
The Networks Act seeks to add vendors to the Department of the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals List, which would effectively freeze them out of the US financial system.
Senator Tom Cotton introduced the bill. In a statement accompanying the move, he accused Chinese vendors of “economic espionage” against the US.
“We cannot allow Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Americans’ personal data and our country’s most sensitive defence systems,” Cotton stated, adding the US must address what he branded a “dire threat” to national security.
Huawei has repeatedly denied US government claims its telecoms equipment could be used for espionage by China.
In October, the US Department of Justice announced Chinese intelligence officers had attempted to interfere in a government prosecution of Huawei, though did not implicate the vendor of involvement in their actions.
Various media reported in July the Federal Bureau of Investigation had raised concerns over the positioning of Huawei equipment in relation to US nuclear bases.