To avoid additional disruption, associations believe clarification is needed on the scope of the restriction – part of the federal procurement prohibition on certain Chinese telecommunications and video surveillance equipment – before it is implemented.
On April 15, the Security Industry Association (SIA) joined other leading industry associations in circulating a letter urging Congress to delay implementation of subsection (a)(1)(B), commonly known as “Part B” under Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2019 – the contractor-related restriction that is part of the federal procurement prohibition on certain Chinese telecommunications and video surveillance equipment and services (direct agency purchase of such products has been prohibited under “Part A” since August 2019).
Federal suppliers across a wide range of industries have increasingly concluded that part B is unworkable without clarification of the undefined scope of the statutory language.
According to the letter, “Part B bans agencies from contracting with a provider that ‘uses’ (a term that is not clearly defined in law or regulation) any covered equipment or service in its supply chains, even if the provider does not know the covered technology is being used for governmental or commercial work…If Part B is implemented as written, many businesses with international and domestic operations will be forced to halt their work providing key products and services to agencies, including equipment that is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic today and in the coming months.”
While implementation is scheduled for Aug. 13 – less than four months away – the significantly delayed implementation rule for Part B has not been released for public review and comment, which leaves little time to both resolve these uncertainties and ensure worldwide compliance amid the other responsibilities of businesses and government agencies responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Delayed implementation of Part B will allow time for collaborative work on a solution that will make the implementation of Part B achievable consistent with the objectives of NDAA Section 889. SIA will continue its engagement with policymakers and other industry stakeholders on this important issue.
Read the letter to Congress – which SIA signed, along with the Aerospace Industries Association, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the American Automotive Policy Council, CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Council, the National Defense Industrial Association, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Semiconductor Industry Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.