U.S. trade groups and companies are asking the Commerce Department to pause a Trump-era regulation that allows the government to block foreign telecommunication-gear imports and other business deals deemed a security threat, saying the measure is overly broad.
The rule was proposed in 2019 in response to rising U.S. concerns about Chinese technology finding its way into the U.S., including telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co.’s sales of broadband equipment to rural phone companies and internet providers.
U.S. officials contend the gear could be used by China to conduct espionage against Americans, which Huawei has denied.
The Trump-era regulation was drafted with the telecommunications industry in mind, but it allows officials to block many technology transactions involving critical U.S. infrastructure if they determine there is a national security risk.
In recent letters, some of the groups and companies asked Commerce officials to hold off on enforcing the regulations, which took effect March 22, until the Biden administration can make its own assessment of security risks among U.S. imports.