The Biden administration is allowing a blacklisted Chinese telecommunications giant to enter the U.S. auto industry by granting it licenses to purchase automotive chips.
Department of Commerce officials granted applications worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Chinese tech company Huawei to buy chips for its auto supply business, according to Reuters. The Trump administration in August 2020 slapped Huawei with restrictions that limited its ability to purchase chips in the United States, citing national security concerns.
A Department of Commerce spokesman could neither confirm nor deny a change in licensing restrictions for Huawei. A Huawei spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter but said the Chinese tech powerhouse intends to move into the auto manufacturing industry, an area where it could potentially circumvent U.S. sanctions.
Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee said Huawei's incursion into the U.S. chip industry—even after Trump administration sanctioned the company—is an "alarming but unsurprising" decision from the Biden administration.
"Is there a dictator or despot that this administration won’t surrender to, appease, or enrich?" Rogers asked. "I urge the administration to immediately reverse this decision before further harm is done to U.S. national security."
Chinese transportation technologies often come with significant national security risks. CRRC, a Chinese rolling stock enterprise with millions of dollars in American investment, reportedly uses Uyghur Muslim slave labor and is under control of the People’s Liberation Army. Huawei also has connections to the Chinese military.
The Biden administration has struggled to keep the influence of tech giants like Huawei at bay. The Washington Free Beacon reported in June that the Biden administration tapped Chris Fonzone, a former lawyer for Huawei, to serve as the top lawyer in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.