U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Monday that while she intends to aggressively push back against China, a review of how the Biden administration will handle issues involving Chinese companies Huawei and TikTok is still under way.
“We have to level the playing field, and if the playing field is level, no one is better than the American worker,” Raimondo told reporters at the daily White House press briefing. The truth is that China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, and underhand, and they have proven that they will do whatever it takes, so I plan to use every tool in my toolbox as aggressively as possible to protect American workers and businesses from China’s unfair practices.”
Chinese telecom giant Huawei and social media platform TikTok became the main focus of former President Donald Trump’s administration’s efforts to take a stand on China.
Huawei has been placed on the Commerce Department’s “Entity List” by the Trump administration, effectively putting the company on a “blacklist.” Trump also issued an executive order last year ordering Bytedance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations or ban its use in the United States.
After a disputed US presidential election, efforts to ban TikTok stalled in the final months of the Trump administration, with no move to let the Biden administration set its own rules for the app even after the sale deadline expired.
Remondo didn’t commit directly to how the Commerce Department or the Biden administration would deal with the companies, but she noted that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is leading a review of the companies and other China-related topics, The Hill reported.
“A lot of people have said, ‘Will Huawei stay on the entity list? I have no reason to believe they won’t, but we are conducting a comprehensive review of China policy. We are actively engaged, we are working as aggressively as we can, we are not wasting our time on it.”
Raymond sidestepped a question about whether President Biden would force Bytedance to sell TikTok, noting, “What we do offensively is more important than what we do defensively.”
The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the ongoing Chinese censorship. Both TikTok and Huawei have repeatedly and vehemently denied that they pose a threat to US national security.
On March 15, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian held a regular press conference. A journalist asked: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identified Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies as threats to US national security. What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian said at the time that what the US did was groundless and unreasonable. In order to maintain the monopoly and hegemony of the US in science and technology, the US government overgeneralizes the concept of national security, abuses state power, and cracks down on Chinese high-tech enterprises by all means. This completely negates the principle of market economy that the US has always advocated and exposes the hypocrisy of the US in calling for fair competition.
“We hope the US side will stop its unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies and provide a fair, open, just, and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies to operate and invest,” Zhao said.