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@Huawei has told an Australian parliamentary committee it believes national security is sometimes being used to hide protectionist trade policies. The Chinese comms gear giant made the comments to the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, which is conducting an inquiry into trade and the digital economy. US Senate mulls giving Huawei and ZTE the Kaspersky treatment READ MORE Without identifying particular incidents, Huawei’s global government affairs veep Simon Lacey said national security should not be “used as a blank cheque to justify or disguise protectionism.” Lacey told the committee that exceptions to free trade would be better regulated under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, so companies could use WTO dispute settlement processes to stop “public policy exceptions” being used to “justify disguised restrictions on international trade”. In a paper that will soon be published as its submission to the inquiry, Huawei says “governments intervene in the digital economy in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly, in order to achieve a very wide range of – for the most part – perfectly legitimate and commendable policy objectives”. In that context, the submission calls for “reasonable regulatory objectives” which “do not act as a disguised restriction on international trade”.

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