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Senators attempt to block Chinese company Huawei from U.S. market

A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that would sanction Chinese tech conglomerate Huawei, preventing them from accessing any banks in the United States.

The bill was helmed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) along with Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). The legislation seeks to "severely sanction" Huawei "and other untrustworthy Chinese 5G producers who engage in economic espionage."

If passed, the bill would add Huawei to a Treasury Department list that would ban American companies from engaging with any foreign entities accused of espionage. This would effectively mean Huawei would have no access to the American financial system. 

Currently the second-largest maker of smartphones in the world, behind only Samsung, Huawei is one of the most prominent tech companies on the planet. It also produces various telecommunications equipment and other consumer goods. 

This is not the first time that efforts have been made to block Chinese companies, and particularly Huawei, from accessing American banks, and they have already been banned from selling their electronics in the U.S. due to potential national security risks. Additionally, the Justice Department also charged two Chinese nationals in October with trying to obstruct an investigation into the company.

In response to the bill, Chinese officials criticized the recent decisions by the U.S. 

"The U.S. is ruining international rules," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing, per Bloomberg"China will take measures to uphold the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese companies."