President Biden on Nov. 11 signed the Secure Equipment Act, which will prevent equipment manufactured by Chinese state-backed firms such as Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua from being further utilized and marketed in the United States.

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate Oct. 28 with unanimous approval after clearing the House of Representatives Oct. 20. The bill was originally co-sponsored Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Scalise, R-La., in the House, and co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

“I’ve fought for over a decade to address vulnerabilities in our telecommunications infrastructure that directly impact our national security,” Rep. Eshoo said in a joint release with the bill’s other co-sponsors. “I thank President Biden for signing the Secure Equipment Act, our bipartisan, bicameral legislation into law. Now the FCC is prohibited from issuing licenses for any equipment made by companies that pose a threat to our national security.”

The bill requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules that clarify that the agency will no longer issue new equipment licenses to any companies on its “Covered List or Services List” that pose a threat to national security. The FCC’s new rules will build on existing rules that prevent telecommunications companies from using Federal funding to purchase equipment from companies on the list.

“The Secure Equipment Act of 2021 will improve our safety as a nation by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in the release. “Senators Markey and Rubio, and Representatives Eshoo and Scalise’s continued dedication to this issue mirrors our efforts to update the Federal Communications Commission’s equipment authorization procedures.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.