Huawei has filed suit today in a U.S. District Court in Plano, TX, to overturn a section of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that forbids U.S. government agencies from buying products from the Chinese communications technology company. The suit charges that Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA is unconstitutional and seeks a permanent injunction against the restrictions it contains.
The U.S. Congress enacted the section in the wake of longstanding concerns that Huawei has ties to the Chinese government and that the company’s equipment could be used for espionage or other actions that would threaten U.S. national security (see, for example, “U.S. House Intelligence Committee sees Huawei and ZTE as security threats” and "China slams proposed U.S. bill targeted at Huawei and ZTE"). Huawei has repeatedly stated such concerns are baseless. The restrictions within Section 889 also apply to fellow Chinese communications technology supplier ZTE.
In addition to banning U.S. government purchases of the company’s gear, Huawei says Section 889 also prevents it from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy Huawei equipment or services. Huawei states in the suit that Section 889 violates the Bill of Attainder Clause and the Due Process Clause. The company also asserts that Congress has violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers, “because Congress is both making the law, and attempting to adjudicate and execute it,” in the words of a Huawei press release.
President Donald Trump signed the NDAA into law last August.
"The U.S. Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort," Guo Ping, Huawei rotating chairman, said in a press conference earlier today. "This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers. We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people."
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