- Commerce Dept said it was granting licenses after an inter-agency review
- The United States banned US tech sales to Huawei in May
- US alleged the Chinese government could tap into Huawei telecom network
A bipartisan group of Senators wants the Trump administration to suspend its approval of U.S. technology sales to China’s Huawei, saying the manufacturer of cell phones and 5G network equipment poses risks to national security. In a letter to President Donald Trump sent Thursday, 15 senators expressed concern about the Commerce Department’s move to begin issuing licenses allowing some sales of semiconductors and other parts, despite Huawei remaining on a U.S. trade blacklist. The Commerce Department action was announced Wednesday.
The senators, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., asked the president to suspend the granting of licenses until the Commerce Department briefs Congress on the national security implications.
“You have said yourself that you did not want the US doing business with Huawei,” the senators wrote. “National security experts widely agree that Chinese companies cooperate heavily with the Chinese Communist Party, and the Chinese government is thought to exercise considerable influence over Huawei, in particular.”
Asked for comment on the senators’ letter, the Commerce Department said it was granting licenses after an inter-agency review only for “limited and specific activities which do not pose a significant risk to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”