Washington (May 24, 2021) – U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 to direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify that it will no longer review, or approve, applications from companies on the Commission’s “Covered List.” The bill would prevent further integration and sales of Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua – all Chinese state-backed or directed firms – in the U.S. regardless of whether federal funds are involved.
In 2020, the FCC adopted new rules to require U.S. telecommunications carriers to rip and replace equipment provided by Huawei, ZTE, and other covered companies that pose a risk to U.S. national security. While that was an important step, those rules only apply to equipment purchased with federal funding. The very same equipment can still be used if purchased with private or non-federal government dollars. The Secure Equipment Act closes this national security loophole.
“In today’s increasingly connected world, we must animate our technology with our values, especially in the 5G networks that are critical to our future economic prosperity,” said Senator Markey. “That’s why our bipartisan legislation will make sure all of our devices and equipment are safe for consumers and secure for the United States. I’m proud to partner with Senator Rubio on this commonsense proposal and I look forward to fighting together for its swift passage.”
“Chinese state-directed companies like Huawei and ZTE pose a serious risk to our national security,” said Senator Rubio. “The Chinese Communist Party subsidizes these companies and exploits loopholes in our laws to allow malicious actors to sell compromised equipment and services in the U.S. The status quo is dangerous, and we need to act now to strengthen our national security and protect our critical infrastructure.”  
“I applaud Senator Rubio and Senator Markey for their leadership and bold action,” said FCC Commissioner Carr. “Their legislation would strengthen our national security by ensuring that we close the loophole that Huawei and others are using right now despite our determination that their gear poses an unacceptable risk to our national security.”