AEI's Barfield on the Huawei conundrum
Should a Chinese telecom giant be allowed to invest in the US?

As US-China trade talks get underway while US concern for cyber-security grows, in this first AEI Economic Studies analysis, "Telecoms and the Huawei conundrum: Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States," AEI scholar Claude Barfield explores the case of Chinese telecom equipment maker, Huawei and its commitment to long-term investment in the US. Barfield explains that:

  • Chinese telecom-equipment maker Huawei has become a global corporate giant, yet security concerns from US officials have kept it from gaining a foothold in America, intensifying US-China tensions.
  • In a time of great economic need, US desire for foreign direct investment from China is clashing with fears over cyber attacks from organizations suspected to be under Beijing’s influence.
  • Common ground can only occur if (1) Washington’s security-vetting process for foreign firms becomes more forthright, and (2) Huawei becomes a publicly listed company and agrees to be bound by OECD trade rules.


Claude Barfield
is an AEI resident scholar and a former consultant to the office of the US Trade Representative. He can be reached at [email protected] (202.862.5879) or through his assistant [email protected] (202.828.5212).

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