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ICYMI: E&C Republicans Urge Buttigieg to Address China-based Huawei’s Threat to U.S. Autos


09.09.21

Washington, D.C.—Energy and Commerce Committee Republican lawmakers, led by Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), today urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to address recent and concerning reports regarding China-based technology company Huawei’s growing access to the U.S. semiconductor technology.  

As reported by Reuters: 

“A group of 13 Republican lawmakers on Thursday raised concerns about U.S. approval for Chinese telecommunications company Huawei to buy chips for its growing auto business. 

“The lawmakers, on the Energy and Commerce Committee, asked U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a letter seen by Reuters if he was concerned ‘Huawei will look for a foothold in developing components for future vehicles in order to gather information on Americans and our transportation infrastructure.’ 

“Reuters reported in August that U.S. officials have approved license applications worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the company, which is on a U.S. trade blacklist.” 

[…] 

“The Republicans, led by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said the United States ‘must not surrender to China and its efforts to dominate our high-tech sectors, including (autonomous vehicles).’ 

“The letter asked Buttigieg if he believes ‘Huawei intends to do with the automotive sector what it did to the communications equipment sector?’ 

“Huawei told Reuters in August it was ‘positioning ourselves as a new component provider for intelligent connected vehicles’ and to help automakers ‘build better vehicles.’” 

CLICK HERE to read the story on Reuters.  

CLICK HERE to read the E&C Republican letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.   

The questions asked by members in the letter to Secretary Buttigieg included: 

  • Should Huawei have the ability to purchase semiconductors for next generation vehicles? If yes, please explain.  
  • According to a Reuters report, automotive chips are not generally considered sophisticated when compared to chips in other sectors. The report also refers to comments made by a Huawei spokesperson who said “[They] are positioning [themselves] as a new component provider for intelligent connected vehicles. . . .” Do you believe Huawei intends to do with the automotive sector what it did to the communications equipment sector?  
  • How will the purchase of non-Chinese automotive semiconductor technology impact the economic pressure facing Huawei, both for the company in general and its 5G telecommunications division specifically? Are you concerned that such transactions ease the pressure on China’s supply chain for the automotive sector so it may further prioritize its state-sponsored goal in winning the race to 5G?  
  • Are you concerned that Huawei will look for a foothold in developing components for future vehicles in order to gather information on Americans and our transportation infrastructure?  
  • Will any component designed for an intelligent automobile licensed or manufactured by Huawei be prohibited from being used in automobiles destined for the U.S.?  
  • Will you consult and coordinate with the other cabinet secretaries and share any concerns that efforts to support Huawei will ultimately benefit the CCP at the expense of U.S. jobs and the economy, including entrenching China’s state-sponsored supply chains?  
  • Will you commit that neither you nor NHTSA will approve such technology transfers in the future?  
Press Release