GOP Senator Marco Rubio from Florida and his colleague from Virginia, Democrat Mark Warner, both members of the Intelligence Committee, joined forces to write a special letter to talk the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out of cooperating with Huawei and other state-run Chinese tech giants.
They strongly advised the head of the US neighboring state against Chinese involvement in Canada’s ongoing implementation of the fifth generation network to upgrade the mobile service. They pointed at “serious concerns” about inadequate safeguards, “given what the United States and other allies know about Huawei.”
“There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party — and Huawei, which China’s government and military tout as a “national champion,” is no exception,” the Senators’ message reads.
The lawmakers suggested that Canada could turn to the US intelligence for additional information about national security implications.
They also claimed that Canada’s cooperation with China in telecommunications might present possible dangers for the so-called Five Eyes alliance, which includes the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, besides Canada.
Apart from security issues, Rubio and Warner brought up “the strong alignment between the United States and Canada in spectrum management.” They claimed that carriers in both countries jointly benefited “from economies of scale for equipment designed for regionally harmonized frequencies,” which can be ripped down.
“The entry of suppliers such as Huawei into the Canadian market could seriously jeopardize this dynamic, depriving both Canadian and American operators of the scale needed to rapidly build out 5G networks,” the lawmakers noted.
In August, Australia has banned Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) from supplying 5G technology to the country. Prior to that, the country’s government had published a new 5G security guidance, aimed to "safeguard the security of Australians’ information and communications." According to the Australian authorities, the involvement of companies, obeying extrajudicial directions from a foreign government might expose their 5G network to unauthorized access or interference.
Around that time, US President Donald Trump enacted legislation banning government agencies from using services from Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies. This came after retail stores at US military bases were prohibited from selling Huawei and ZTE mobile phones over concerns that they "pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, information, and mission."