US Senators Submits Bill To Prevent Trump From Using Huawei Ban As Bargaining Chip

US Huawei Ban
A view of a Huawei store in Vina del Mar (Photo: Reuters / Rodrigo Garrido)

A group of US senators has proposed a new law this week in an attempt to limit US President Donald Trump's use of the country's Huawei ban as a bargaining chip against China.

The proposed new legislation, called "The Defending America's 5G Future Act," aims to only allow US companies to do business with the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer if they have congressional approval.

The proposed law, submitted by six concerned lawmakers, will remove the ban's reliance on presidential executive orders. Trump originally barred US companies from doing business with Huawei on May 15.

The president signed an executive order that barred the use of telecommunications equipment from companies deemed as national security threats.

The order itself did not specifically name Huawei or any other Chinese company. The US Commerce Department immediately acted on the order and placed Huawei and several of its affiliates in the country's so-called "Entity List."

This effectively halted transactions between Huawei and its US suppliers, cutting it off from vital components it needed for its various businesses.

The six senators that drafted the proposed law mentioned in a joint statement that the legislation will serve to reinforce Trump's efforts in barring Huawei from threatening the country's national security.

Under the Defending America's 5G Future Act, the removal of Huawei from the Commerce Department's trade blacklist would no longer be possible without an act of Congress.

Even an executive order from the President would not be able to remove the company from the list if the proposed law is approved.

The senators reasoned that they see Huawei as nothing more than a front for China's Communist Party. The bill is apparently intended to stop the company from acquiring American technology and intelligence, which could ultimately be used against it.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it was being used by the Chinese government to spy on other countries. The company also denied that any of its equipment pose any kind of security threats to its users.

Senator Van Hollen of Maryland, one of the sponsors of the bill, mentioned in an interview that one of the reasons for the proposed law is to prevent Trump from trading the country's legitimate security concerns to gain a favorable trade deal with China. 

The senators that had sponsored the bill include Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Mitt Romney of Utah, Democratic Senator Van Hollen of Maryland, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

The new bill is a companion to legislation that has already been introduced in the House of Representatives.

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