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