Pelosi joins pressure campaign on Huawei

Bipartisan pressure to keep Chinese telecom firm Huawei out of the global development of 5G networks intensified Monday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) joined the Trump administration in warning that the company poses a threat to the U.S. and its allies.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Pelosi told allies in stark terms not to use Huawei technology to roll out 5G networks, saying it would mean “selling the privacy of your people down the river.”

“It’s a People’s Liberation Army initiative using reversed engineering from Western technology,” Pelosi said. “So of course it’s going to be cheaper to put on the market. And if it’s cheaper, then they get the market share and then they [China] bring in their autocracy of lack of privacy.”

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments marked the escalating pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to stop the spread of Huawei technology. The administration, including the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice, have taken steps to rein in Huawei. But overseas, U.S. efforts to convince allies to abandon Huawei’s technology have run into headwinds. The United Kingdom’s National Security Council in January decided to allow the use of Huawei 5G equipment in “peripheral” networks, rejecting the Trump administration’s calls to outright ban the company.

More Huawei news. A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday struck down a lawsuit from Chinese tech giant Huawei, ruling that the company didn’t have any legal ground to sue the U.S. government.

The telecommunications company had filed the lawsuit last year after Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which, among other things, prohibits federal agencies and contractors from purchasing certain products from Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE.

In the complaint, Huawei claimed that the restrictions were overly punitive and singled out certain companies.

The Trump administration and congressional lawmakers have long had concerns over whether the Chinese government could use Huawei and ZTE to spy on the U.S.

However, District Judge Amos Mazzant, an Obama appointee, concluded on Tuesday that the government wasn’t prohibiting Huawei from doing business in America, but was rather exercising its legal ability to control how federal money is spent.