US President Donald J. Trump has spoken his piece about Huawei. And now, Congress will have its say, having introduced new laws designed to combat the President's relaxation of typical ban policy on Huawei. The bill introduced into the Senate by Republican Senators Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, and Mitt Romney, and Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen, Mark Warner, and Richard Blumenthal, called the "Defending America's 5G Future Act," is designed to curtail the President's power in this ban and any others.
First, the Defending America's 5G Future Act would require House and Senate approval before Huawei could be removed from the US Entity List. The bill would also let Congress disapprove granting new licenses to companies wanting to sell to the blacklisted company. In the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans Jimmy Panetta, Ruben Gallego, Mark Gallagher, and Liz Cheney came together to introduce a similar bill.
The Defending America's 5G Future Act, introduced by the Senate, tells us a few things. First, it says that Congress didn't vote on Trump's decision to let American high-tech companies start selling to Huawei again. In fact, when Trump made the decision, he never consulted Congress as to whether or not it was a good move politically.
Next, Trump's decision to grant selling licenses to companies wanting to do business with the blacklisted corporation goes against typical ban protocol. Whenever a company is placed on the US Entity List, nearly every new selling license to said company that is applied for is practically guaranteed rejection. And yet, Trump, claiming Huawei is a threat to national security, doesn't mind how large a threat they are because he's decided to grant selling licenses and allow American companies to sell to them anyway.
The President is making it clear what he stands for. His decisions with Huawei have been driven (for the most part) by profit, money, financial gain for the US. After all, at the beginning of the Trade War, Trump started imposing high tariffs on Chinese goods. Next, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan to negotiate and work out a deal, and one of the things that drove Trump to let American companies sell to Huawei again pertains to China's willingness and concession to invest in America's agricultural business.
Then, after banning Huawei from business in the US, he decides to give in to American companies and let them sell to Huawei again (for the sake of money). Trump's exceptions to the rules are coming about not because Huawei isn't a security threat, but because Trump sees dollar signs as meeting his MAGA (Make America Great Again) philosophy.
So Congress, in its power to check the power of the President (because, as we all know, "power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely"), has introduced these laws to check the President's power over Huawei.
Trump thinks like a businessman and acts like one. A number of US citizens voted for Trump because of his business-savvy dealings over the years. And yet, the Office of President requires a different approach. Some things are more important than financial gain and monetary profit, such as the national security and safety of the citizens and country where you're the Commander-In-Chief.
The goal of any President and Congress is to do all it can to protect the nation and see to its welfare, above all else. To have monetary gain at the expense of our right to privacy is to have one's priorities, wrongly ordered. And, as Senator Tom Cotton said, we shouldn't give away our resources to the one we view as a national security threat.
You don't give away all your firearms to your enemy and then wonder why he invades your country and takes you hostage. In essence, Trump has one mindset (financial gain) while Congress has another (safety and welfare of US citizens). Last but not least, Trump must realize that a national security threat anywhere is a national security threat everywhere.
If American companies are selling silicon chipsets and mobile device components to a company known for Chinese espionage, then American companies are aiding and abetting international espionage on a grand scale. Even in the US, you can't drive the getaway car for a murderer and then escape without a prison sentence. A national security risk, then, is also an international security risk. Trump, like America, will have to start thinking globally to win the war on Huawei dependence.
When MAGA rules, it's easy to forget that the US is not a lone star in the world but one country among many. And it's also easy to forget principles in a time where a company that is blacklisted should be treated as such instead of being embraced the way Trump is embracing Jinping and Beijing. The rest of the world is shaking their proverbial heads at a national leader who still sees himself as a businessman and nothing more.