US lawmakers take another run at keeping out Huawei's 5G gear

New bills introduced in the House and Senate would make it nearly impossible for Huawei to do business in US dollars unless it is working on 3G and 4G networks.

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

March 12, 2020

2 Min Read
US lawmakers take another run at keeping out Huawei's 5G gear

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Gallagher and Senator Tom Cotton are introducing bills in the US House and Senate aimed at cutting off Huawei's use of any part of the US banking and financial system.

The bills seek to "add foreign companies producing 5G technology, like Huawei, to the U.S. Treasury Department's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List should they engage in economic or industrial espionage or sanctions violations," according to a press release from Rep. Gallagher's office.

Being listed on the Treasury Department's SDN list makes it nearly impossible for a company or individual to do business using US dollars.

"It's clear that in order to protect global 5G networks, we need a full-court press against malevolent actors like Huawei," said Rep. Gallagher, in a press release. "It's time to go on the offensive by cutting Huawei out of the US banking system."

The House bill is known as the Neutralizing Emerging Threats from Wireless OEMs Receiving direction from Kleptocracies and Surveillance states (NETWORKS) Act and it does have bipartisan support. The Senate version of the bill is led by Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator Rick Scott.

Brand new 5G networks are definitely in the crosshairs here. For all of its bluster, Congress still hasn't been able to fully extract Huawei out of US networks, so the bill's authors still intend to let Huawei support its current customers.

The US government's most recent attempt at paying carriers to remove Huawei gear is throwing around dollars and not making real change. The NETWORKS bill would exempt transactions involving existing 3G or 4G networks "in order to minimize disruption to global networks," the release said.

Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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