A bipartisan bill aims to bar Chinese state-linked firms from exploiting a “security loophole” to enter U.S. technology markets.
Under the act, the FCC, which oversees all interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable, would cease reviewing or approving any product or services from the named companies.
“The Chinese Communist Party subsidizes these companies and exploits loopholes in our laws to allow malicious actors to sell compromised equipment and services in the U.S.,” Rubio said.
By “loopholes,” Rubio was referring to regulations that the FCC adopted last year mandating U.S. telecom carriers to remove and replace gear from Chinese entities deemed to be a national security risk. The rules, however, didn't apply to equipment purchased with private funding.
“The status quo is dangerous, and we need to act now to strengthen our national security and protect our critical infrastructure,” Rubio said.
Markey called the legislation a “commonsense proposal.”
“In today’s increasingly connected world, we must animate our technology with our values, especially in the 5G networks that are critical to our future economic prosperity,” he said. The bill “will make sure all of our devices and equipment are safe for consumers and secure for the United States."
Carr welcomed the gesture in a May 24 statement, saying it was a “quick and decisive action necessary to safeguard our national security.”
“It is time to close this glaring loophole,” he said. “Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks.
“The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them.”