US hits China's Huawei despite Trump reprieve

Sen. McConnell: Huawei is a threat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on concerns over the threat from Huawei and its impact on U.S. trade talks with China.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is facing a new crackdown from the U.S. despite the reprieve the company received from President Trump at the G-20 meeting last month.

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On Thursday, members of the House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation, The Defending America's 5G Future Act, to prevent the Trump administration from removing Huawei from the Commerce Department’s Entity List without the approval of Congress. The legislation also grants Congress the authority to veto any exemptions that seek to allow U.S. companies to do business with Huawei.

“We must make a concerted effort to confront the threat China poses to U.S. national security, intellectual property, and technology,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. “Our bill will prohibit U.S.-based companies from doing business with Huawei until they no longer pose a national security threat," he added.

Romney joins Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., along with Mark Warner, D-Va., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., all of whom introduced the legislation in the Senate, while Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Huawei is a threat to our international communications and, thus, our national security. This bipartisan legislation prevents compromises of our communications and stops foreign adversaries from benefiting from our ingenuity. It is time for Congress to come together and reassert its authority to protect American business and consumers and the safety of our constituents,” said Panetta.

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Separately, during an appearance on FOX Business' "Mornings With Maria" on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Huawei would not receive any special treatment from the U.S. and perhaps other countries as well.

"I don't think we should do anything that makes it easy easier for them to do business here in the U.S.or Europe for that matter, we're talking to them about it as well," he said.

McConnell and the group of lawmakers are directly challenging President Trump, who lifted some restrictions on Huawei after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in June at the G-20 summit in Japan.

"At the request of our High Tech companies, and President Xi, I agreed to allow Chinese company Huawei to buy product from them which will not impact our National Security," Trump said in a tweet at the time. "Importantly, we have opened up negotiations again with China as our relationship with them continues to be a very good one."

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China has repeatedly insisted Huawei be removed the Entity List as a prerequisite for any trade agreement and passage of legislation that could prevent the relief Huawei expects would potentially disrupt China-US trade talks.

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