Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, wrote a letter to the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Bureau of Industry Security (BIS) asking for details on implementing a “Final Rule” restricting access by China-based network equipment maker Huawei to U.S. technologies, and whether companies are still seeking to sell restricted technology to the company.
The senator said his letter is part of an “ongoing oversight focused on probing compliance with the rule from leading hard disk drive suppliers and its enforcement by [DOC].” Sen. Wicker said his staff has reviewed evidence that suggests possible non-compliance with the rule.
In the letter, Wicker seeks responses to three questions to ensure Huawei – which in recent years has been branded by the government as a potential national security risk – isn’t gaining unlawful access to U.S. technologies:
- How many companies have sought a license to ship to Huawei or its affiliates under this Final Rule?
- How many of those applications have been processed and granted?
- How many applications have been denied?
“The BIS plays a critical role in combatting threats to national security posed by Chinese companies and protecting the U.S. technology industry,” wrote Sen. Wicker.
“To that end, the Department of Commerce issued a Final Rule further restricting access by Huawei to U.S. technologies by adding additional non-U.S. affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List, removing the Temporary General License for Huawei and replacing it with a more limited authorization, and expanding the scope of Foreign Direct Product Rule to tighten Huawei’s ability to procure items that are the direct product of specified U.S. technology or software,” the senator added.
Wicker is seeking a response to his questions by close of business August 16, 2021.