The White House is finalizing new sanctions on Chinese technology firms, an administration official told Reuters on Thursday.
The law, which expands upon 2019 legislation, would require companies interested in offering services to the U.S. government to prove they have no business relationship with five leading Chinese telecommunications and surveillance companies.
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"The danger our nation faces from foreign adversaries like China looking to infiltrate our systems is great," Ross Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told Reuters. "The Trump Administration is keeping our government strong against nefarious networks like Huawei by fully implementing the ban on Federal procurement."
Huawei, a state-backed Chinese telecommunications firm, has lost out on bids to provide services to several English-speaking countries. Australia halted business with it and ZTE, another Chinese firm, on national security grounds, while a recent cybersecurity report from U.K. defense experts stands to reverse the country's relatively open policy toward the companies. Meanwhile, former Canadian officials indicate Ottawa is considering closing the door to Chinese technology firms.
A previous round of U.S. sanctions jeopardized Huawei's "survival," per a company statement in May. As previously reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Huawei and similar Chinese firms have been accused of organizing multimillion-dollar influence campaigns with former Obama administration staffers.
The Trump administration previously issued a list of 20 companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military. Huawei and Hikvision—two companies that will be subject to the forthcoming sanctions—were on the list.
"There should no longer be any dispute concerning the need to defend against the multinational technology company Huawei and its role in China’s security apparatus," former national security adviser H.R. McMaster wrote in a May Atlantic article. "A priority area for multinational cooperation among free societies should be the development of infrastructure, particularly 5G communications, to form trusted networks that protect sensitive and proprietary data."