GOP senator offers bill to restrict US sales to Huawei

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Friday introduced legislation to limit a loophole allowing American tech companies to sell products to Huawei despite Department of Commerce restrictions.

The agency placed Huawei on the “entity list” in May, preventing U.S. firms from conducting business with the company unless they obtain a specific license, citing national security concerns with the Chinese telecommunications giant.

Although Huawei has been granted multiple temporary licenses to delay that designation — most recently on Thursday for another 45 days — companies have already begun finding ways to continue selling equipment to Huawei without running afoul of Commerce Department penalties.

One way to do that is through a loophole that allows companies to sell products made outside of the U.S. to Huawei without a license, as long as the products contain less than 25 percent U.S.-made content subject to export restrictions.

The bill introduced by Scott on Friday would lower that threshold to 10 percent when companies do business with Huawei.