Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom to discuss the threats Chinese telecommunications firms like ZTE pose to U.S. national security interests.
Earlier this week, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor about the issue, and raised his concerns at a Senate Intelligence committee hearing as well as a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. Last week, Rubio introduced legislation to protect American workers from China’s economic aggression. The bill would prohibit the federal government, or subsidiaries/contractors, from purchasing telecommunications equipment or services from Huawei and ZTE. Rubio also recently wrote an op-ed on his legislation, outlining how to counter these economic tools of aggression used by Beijing.
A partial and rough transcript of Rubio’s remarks are transcribed below.
VIDEO: ON AMERICA’S NEWSROOM, RUBIO DISCUSSES THREAT CHINESE TELECOM FIRMS POSE TO U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY
Rubio: It's a mistake. I've told that to the White House. I’m going to tell it to the President, and I have told him in the past. ZTE has nothing to do with trade. Nothing. The Chinese use their telecom companies to spy on us. Not just spy on us for national security, they spy on us for commercial secrets, steal stuff from us. They want to control global telecom. They want to make it difficult for the American military to communicate with commanders and each other. They want to embed themselves in the technology of other countries. We make calls to other countries, to our embassies abroad. Imagine if ZTE or Huawei controls the infrastructure in some country like that, they’re hearing everything our government is doing and they’re stealing secrets form our companies.
Absolutely, we shouldn't sell them any chips because they are trying to put us out of business. They steal our secrets, they reverse engineer the things that we do. Their goal is to dominate telecommunications, all technology in the world. And they're doing it by stealing from us. We should not be helping them. I do not shed one tear for ZTE or Huawei, or any of these companies. Chinese companies backed by the Chinese government have put plenty of American companies out of business. And they're doing this to undermine us economically, geopolitically and from a national security perspective.