Biden Commerce Pick Sees ‘No Reason’ to Lift Huawei Curbs
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s nominee for Commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, said she knows of “no reason” why Huawei Technologies Co. and other Chinese companies shouldn’t remain on a restricted trade list.
Raimondo, in written questions from Senate Republicans, was asked about the company, as well as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and others. They are on a list that requires U.S. firms to obtain government licenses if they want to sell American tech and intellectual property to the companies.
“I understand that parties are placed on the Entity List and the Military End User List generally because they pose a risk to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” said Raimondo, the Democratic governor of Rhode Island. “I currently have no reason to believe that entities on those lists should not be there. If confirmed, I look forward to a briefing on these entities and others of concern.”
Raimondo when asked about the issue during her Jan. 26 Senate confirmation hearing didn’t specifically commit to keeping Huawei on the list. That prompted several House Republicans to ask their Senate counterparts to delay her confirmation. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted 21-3 on Wednesday to advance her nomination.
Asked about Raimondo’s remarks, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman reaffirmed the country’s opposition to U.S. security restrictions on its companies. “We urge you to stop this wanton oppression against Chinese companies,” spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news briefing Thursday in Beijing.
Also in the written responses, Raimondo said that she and Secretary of State Antony Blinken agree on using U.S. government tools to take actions against importing products made with forced labor in Xinjiang, the northwest region where Blinken previously said that China’s policies toward its Muslim minority amounted to genocide.
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