Dr. Song Liuping’s Statement at the Huawei Press Conference on March 7, 2019
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am Song Liuping, the Chief Legal Officer of Huawei.
This morning, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and Huawei Technologies USA, Inc., filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, located in Plano to defend ourselves and our customers from a U.S. statute that improperly targets and punishes Huawei. That law, Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, singles out Huawei by name and not only bars U.S. government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, but also bars them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy Huawei equipment or services—even if there is no impact or connection to the U.S. government. Our suit tries to prevent the U.S. Congress from unconstitutionally impeding Huawei from bringing our advanced technologies to America—technologies that it so desperately needs for building world class 5G networks.
Section 889 is unconstitutional in its singling out of Huawei by name, blacklisting it, damaging its reputation, and denying it any way to clear its name and escape sanction. Its attack on Huawei is purposeful and punitive. When the law was being passed, Senator Tom Cotton said that Huawei deserved “the death penalty” and that it should be put “out of business in the United States.” And Senator Marco Rubio smeared Huawei as a “Trojan horse” that “shouldn’t be in business in the United States in any capacity.”
Section 889 causes injury to Huawei but, even more importantly, to Huawei’s customers. It prevents Huawei from providing its world-leading technologies to any company that does business with the U.S. Government — regardless whether Huawei’s products are used in service of the government. In doing so, the statute is punitive pure and simple; and, in doing so, the statute denies American consumers access to the best technologies, particularly those in poor and rural communities, where Huawei’s competitors choose not to do business.
Congress’s targeting of Huawei is also overbroad as well as ineffective. It is overbroad because the statutory prohibitions apply to every single agency of the federal government—even agencies that have no connection to foreign affairs, defense, or national security, like the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Even worse, the statute covers vast numbers of private companies that in turn contract with federal agencies—restricting Huawei’s ability to work with such companies even on entirely private projects unrelated to their government contracts. Section 889 is also ineffective in addressing cyber security risks: The supply chain is global; numerous other companies manufacture products in or use components from China; and some major telecommunications companies operate joint ventures with the Chinese government. But the NDAA singles out a few like Huawei and ignores the bulk of the supply chain.
Sadly, Section 889 is based on numerous false, unproven, and untested propositions. Contrary to the statute’s premise, Huawei is not owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese government. Moreover, Huawei has an excellent security record and program. No contrary evidence has been offered, and Huawei has never had a fair chance to confront or cross-examine its accusers. Nor has it been allowed an impartial adjudicator. The U.S. Congress has simply acted as law-maker, prosecutor, and jury at the same time, contrary to the American Constitution.
As a result, we have now sued the U.S. government and several of the many agency secretaries who are bound by Section 889. These include the Secretary of Agriculture, the Acting Secretary of the Interior, and a few others. Section 889 applies to these agencies even though they have absolutely nothing to do with national security or related areas. Our suit asks the court to declare Section 889 unconstitutional as it is applied to Huawei. We hope that the court will remove this unconstitutional infringement on Federal agencies and Huawei, so that we can work with the President and his Administration to find a solution where Huawei’s products are available to the American people and the national security of the United States is fully protected.