In a letter to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, nominee for secretary of commerce, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., requested that the Department of Commerce keep the pressure on Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, during the Biden administration.

The previous administration notably took actions against the telecommunications company and inhibited it from conducting business in the United States, citing national security risks. For example, former President Trump signed a bill that included $1 billion in funding for smaller telecommunications providers to rip and replace equipment from firms like Huawei.

“The U.S. government must be prepared to frustrate the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party] ability to achieve its domestic and global ambitions, where the party’s objectives are inimical to American interests,” the senators wrote. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] is attempting to remake global governance, placing itself at the center of globalization to maximize its coercive power and ensure the dominance and legitimacy of the CCP.”

The senators emphasized an importance on “the need to obstruct or squeeze PRC” access to U.S. technology to disrupt CCP ambitions.

“The CCP is already taking action to test whether President Biden’s administration will carry on the campaign to level the playing field for American businesses, counter malign actors like Huawei, and keep pressure on technological chokepoints,” they wrote. “We ask that you, as the nominee to be the next Secretary of Commerce, be forceful about the strategic imperatives of this moment.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.