Politics

Cotton, Colleagues Urge President Biden to Take Action Against Huawei-Aligned Semiconductor Plant

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on the administration to take immediate action to prevent the Chinese technology company Huawei from building the Pengxinwei IC Manufacturing Company (PXW) semiconductor plant. The letter details how the plant would severely undermine the U.S. strategy to counter Huawei, an arm of Chinese intelligence. The plant would give Huawei a guaranteed supply of advanced chips, a key element of the CCP’s Military-Civil Fusion campaign. The senators also raise concerns that the administration has taken no official steps to delay the project’s progress, despite knowing about the plant’s construction.

In part, the senators wrote:

“Bloomberg recently published evidence that Huawei began construction over seven months ago on a factory where PXW is expected to eventually mass produce chips as advanced as 14 nanometers and 7 nanometers. Almost all of these chips are expected to be sold to Huawei, and PXW reportedly has already ordered the advanced equipment necessary to build these chips. This would represent a dangerous leap in Chinese semiconductor manufacturing, as Chinese chipmakers have thus far only been able to produce 7-nanometer chips in limited quantities. With these new chips for its base stations, Huawei could resume its march towards 5G market dominance, and the CCP will advance its plan to control global telecommunications and extend its economic espionage and repression.”

Full text of the letter may be found here and below.

October 13, 2022

Dear President Biden,

We call on the administration to take immediate action to halt Huawei’s attempt to build the Pengxinwei IC Manufacturing Company (PXW) semiconductor foundry. This Huawei-aligned foundry is designed to fatally undermine the U.S. strategy to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) bid to dominate global 5G markets and strengthen its intelligence and repression apparatus.

Bloomberg recently published evidence that Huawei began construction over seven months ago on a factory where PXW is expected to eventually mass produce chips as advanced as 14 nanometers and 7 nanometers. Almost all of these chips are expected to be sold to Huawei, and PXW reportedly has already ordered the advanced equipment necessary to build these chips. This would represent a dangerous leap in Chinese semiconductor manufacturing, as Chinese chipmakers have thus far only been able to produce 7-nanometer chips in limited quantities. With these new chips for its base stations, Huawei could resume its march towards 5G market dominance, and the CCP will advance its plan to control global telecommunications and extend its economic espionage and repression.

We are deeply concerned that, despite the obvious threat that PXW poses, your administration has taken no official steps to delay the project’s progress, despite being aware of the project for some time. The Department of Commerce’s apparent inaction is a dereliction of duty. Despite PXW’s clear connection with Huawei, Commerce has not added PXW to its Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Entity List or its list of Huawei subsidiaries under the Foreign Direct Product Rule. As far as we can tell, Commerce has not sent a single “informed” letter to any entities potentially working with PXW, ordering them to halt all shipments to and transactions with the factory.

Export controls are among our nation’s foremost tools to win the economic long war with China. It defies logic that, at the same time as your administration worked on a package of export controls on Chinese semiconductors, it has not used all the tools at its disposal to end PXW’s development. Your administration should blacklist PXW immediately, unless you wish to preside over the unravelling of the U.S. campaign against Huawei and the CCP’s bid for global 5G dominance.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

_________________________                                          _________________________

Tom Cotton                                                                            Bill Hagerty

United States Senator                                                          United States Senator

_________________________                                          _________________________

Marsha Blackburn                                                                Ted Cruz

United States Senator                                                          United States Senator

_________________________                                         

Marco Rubio                                                                         

United States Senator                                                                     

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