Huawei Technologies and ZTE “can’t be trusted,” U.S. Attorney Common William Barr stated, labeling the Chinese companies a safety threat as he backed a proposal to bar U.S. rural wireless carriers from tapping an $8.5 billion authorities fund to buy equipment or services from them.
The Federal Communications Fee will vote on November 22 and is proposing requiring the carriers to remove and exchange equipment from the businesses. Barr stated in a letter to the FCC launched Thursday that “their monitor record, in addition to the practices of the Chinese authorities, demonstrates that Huawei and ZTE can’t be trusted.”
Barr noted that federal prosecutors charged Huawei with invasions of the U.S. embargo on Iran, bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and trade secret theft. ZTE pleaded guilty back in 2017 to illegally sending roughly $32 million in U.S. goods to Iran.
The U.S. government added Huawei to its financial blacklist in May, saying the Chinese firm was concerned in activities opposite to U.S. national security.
The U.S. has pressured countries not to grant Huawei access to 5G networks, and Beijing could possibly use alleged Huawei’s gear for spying, which the Chinese firm has repeatedly refused. Several European nations in recent months haven’t agreed to exclude Huawei, despite U.S. pressure.
In May, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited executive order declaring a nationwide emergency and barring U.S. firms from using telecommunications gear made by firms posing a national safety risk. The order directed the Commerce Division, working with different government agencies, to draw up an implementation plan by mid-October. The Commerce Division has yet to announce a plan.