Wicker Questions Commerce Department’s Enforcement of Huawei-related Rule

August 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today sent a letter to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) inquiring about the implementation of a Final Rule restricting access by Huawei to U.S. technologies. This letter is part of Wicker’s ongoing oversight focused on probing compliance with the rule from leading hard disk drive suppliers and its enforcement by the Department of Commerce.

Excerpt from the letter: 

Dear Acting Under Secretary Pelter:

The BIS plays a critical role in combatting threats to national security posed by Chinese companies and protecting the U.S. technology industry. To that end, the Department of Commerce issued a Final Rule further restricting access by Huawei to U.S. technologies by adding additional non-U.S. affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List, removing the Temporary General License for Huawei and replacing it with a more limited authorization, and expanding the scope of Foreign Direct Product Rule to tighten Huawei’s ability to procure items that are the direct product of specified U.S. technology or software. 

My staff contacted the BIS seeking details about the licensing component of the rule as part of ongoing oversight about compliance with this rule by leading hard disk drive suppliers. Following an informal briefing, officials claimed that the information sought by staff is subject to Section 1761(h) of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018, which allows the Bureau to withhold certain information based on confidentiality concerns. However, the information requested neither focused on any particular company’s compliance nor could have resulted in a breach of confidentiality for a company under investigation.  

My staff has reviewed evidence suggesting possible non-compliance with this rule. As part of my investigation, I request responses to the following questions so my staff can ensure Huawei is not gaining unlawful access to U.S. technologies:

  1. How many companies have sought a license to ship to Huawei or its affiliates under this Final Rule? 
  1. How many of those applications have been processed and granted?
  1. How many applications have been denied? 

Click here to read the full letter.