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11.12.21 – SSI – WASHINGTON, D.C.

The new law prevents the FCC from granting or reviewing applications for licenses from companies the agency determines are a security threat to the U.S.

The Secure Equipment Act of 2021 — bipartisan legislation that stops companies judged to be security threats from getting new equipment licenses, particularly from those linked to China — was signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday.

The Secure Equipment Act will ban the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from considering or issuing authorization for products from companies on the FCC’s “covered list,” which includes video surveillance manufacturers Dahua Technology and Hikvision, and telecommunications groups Huawei and ZTE.

Last year, the FCC unanimously voted to formally classify both Huawei and ZTE as national security threats, with the agency citing their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and espionage concerns. The national security threat designation blocks U.S. telecommunications companies from using FCC funds to purchase products from these companies.

The act breezed through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives last month. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously while only four voted against it in the House of Representatives, with 420 votes in favor.

In announcing the bill’s signing, the White House thanked the sponsors, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), along with the House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

Read more about the legislation and its implications here.