Biden nominates Huawei prosecutor for key China export post2021-08-01
The White House said on Wednesday (July 28) that US attorney Thea Kendler, attorney for China’s criminal case against Huawei and Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, will be nominated for a Commerce Department post vital to controlling exports to China.
Kendler, a lawyer in the Department of Justice’s national security division, will be appointed assistant secretary for export management at the Department of Commerce. The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.
Kendler is expected to work under Alan Estevez, a former Pentagon official appointed on July 13 as undersecretary of industry and security for the Department of Commerce at the center of the US-China tech war.
The department has restricted sales to Huawei Technologies since 2019, when the company and its dozens of non-US affiliates were added to the US trade blacklist and blocked the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
Companies are placed on the so-called “entity list” if their actions are seen as contrary to US security or foreign policy interests.
Recently, the Biden administration has blacklisted companies for human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang. Dozens of other Chinese companies on the list include surveillance manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua Technology.
US companies are prohibited from selling goods to listed companies without Department of Commerce licenses, which are hard to obtain.
The Commerce Department, which added Huawei two years ago, referred to the criminal case filed against the company in the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York, for allegedly violating US laws, including the export of goods, technology and banking services to Iran. to US sanctions.
Kendler, a litigation attorney in the Counterintelligence and Export Control Division of the Department of Justice’s Department of Homeland Security, is among the attorneys responsible for prosecuting the high-profile case that has strained ties between the United States, Canada and China.
The indictment led to the 2018 Canadian arrest of Meng, who faced bank fraud charges for allegedly misleading HSBC Holdings about Huawei’s business in Iran. The daughter of the company’s founder, Meng, has been battling extradition ever since. She said she was innocent.
Huawei denied the indictment, which was updated to include charges of stealing trade secrets.
Prior to joining the Department of Justice in 2014, Kendler served as a senior adviser in the Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel for Industry and Security. Before that, he was a commercial lawyer in private practice.