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“We can’t think of Huawei the way we think about Verizon or AT&T,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Wednesday. “The Chinese companies are very different than American companies.”
Huawei is under fire in the U.S. over intellectual property (IP) theft, by the China government. By law, companies in China are required to establish a party organization. Rubio said this is largely the reason for his stance.
“In America we can’t even get Apple to crack open an iPhone for the FBI. In China Huawei has to give the Chinese anything they ask for,” he said. “So imagine a country in which Huawei now controls the routers and all the hardware… we’ve got a big, big problem when they are embedded in your infrastructure. They should not be in business in America.”
“We are a privately owned company,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “There are a number of companies out there that have government ownership.”
In an effort to curb IP theft President Trump slapped hefty tariffs on Chinese goods. The U.S. and China are the world’s largest economies and have been involved in a tit-for-tat trade war for months. However Rubio said that the Huawei fight should not infringe on trade issues.
“It’s a national security issue beyond anything else,” he said. “If this was a Japanese company, a South Korean company that’d be a trade issue… there is no trade deal, no matter how good it is, that can make up for to directly steal and spy on America.”