Huawei Challenges Trump Claim of National Security Threat

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Huawei Technologies Co. said the Trump administration’s decision late last year to label the giant Chinese telecommunications company a national security threat was unconstitutional and harmful to U.S. industry.

In a lawsuit filed Monday at the New Orleans Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Huawei said the Dec. 11 declaration by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was arbitrary and capricious, exceeded its authority and violated federal rule-making procedures. Huawei also claims the FCC lacks “substantial evidence” and failed to give the company a chance to defend itself before the rule was finalized.

“The order on review potentially impacts the financial interests of the telecommunications industry as a whole, including manufacturers, end users, and service providers in a broad range of industries, such as internet, cellular and landline telephone, and similar telecommunications applications,” Huawei said in the court filing, which was reported earlier by Dow Jones.

Huawei previously challenged the FCC’s 2019 decision to ban U.S. companies from using taxpayer subsidies to fund purchases of Huawei’s 5G technology. The Trump administration said national security concerns outweighed the Chinese firm’s lower costs. In that case, which is also pending before the Fifth Circuit, Huawei vigorously disputed allegations that it has ties to the Chinese government that could compromise the security of telecom networks and devices.

Analysts have argued Huawei’s latest generation of equipment has built-in backdoors and other security loopholes that could allow the Chinese government to eavesdrop on American conversations and data transmissions and illegally collect data on U.S. citizens. Huawei disputes these allegations.

“Last year the FCC issued a final designation identifying Huawei as a national security threat based on a substantial body of evidence developed by the FCC and numerous U.S. national security agencies,” the commission said in an emailed statement. “We will continue to defend that decision.”

The case is Huawei Technologies USA Inc. v Federal Communications Commission and U.S.A., 21-60089, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans).

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