U.S. Imposes Visa Restrictions Against Huawei Employees, Citing National Security Concerns

In its latest move to clamp down on China-based Huawei’s influence in the United States, the Trump administration is imposing visa restrictions on employees of certain Chinese technology companies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in a statement today, that the State Department is “imposing visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese technology companies that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally.” The Trump administration is pursuing these visa restrictions under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says an individual is inadmissible to the United States if the Secretary of State has reason to believe the alien’s entry “would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.”

Pompeo specifically said that Huawei will be impacted by the decision. He claimed that Huawei is “an arm of the [Chinese Communist Party’s] (CCP) surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China.” Additionally, Pompeo alleged that some Huawei employees “provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses.”

“Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers,” Pompeo said.

This decision comes on the heels of the United States enacting a rule prohibiting Federal use of telecommunications services and equipment from companies that pose national security risks – such as Huawei. The decision will likely cost the Federal government upwards of $11 billion. Just yesterday, Pompeo praised the United Kingdom for banning Huawei 5G equipment from the country by 2027.

“We welcome news that the United Kingdom plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks,” Pompeo said in a statement July 14. “With this decision, the UK joins a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security by prohibiting the use of untrusted, high-risk vendors.”

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.

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