A bipartisan group of US lawmakers introduced bills on Wednesday that would ban the sale of US chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate US sanctions or export control laws. Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Mike Gallagher, both Republicans, and Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative Ruben Gallego, both Democrats, introduced the measures, which would require the US president to ban the export of US components to any Chinese telecommunications company that violates US sanctions or export control laws. The bills specifically cite ZTE and Huawei, both of which are viewed with suspicion in the United States because of fears that their switches and other gear could be used to spy on Americans. Both have also been accused of failing to respect US sanctions on Iran. Huawei is the world’s biggest producer of telecommunications equipment. “Huawei is effectively an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party whose founder and CEO was an engineer for the People’s Liberation Army,” Cotton wrote in a statement. Huawei is target of US criminal probe into alleged theft of trade secrets “If Chinese telecom companies like Huawei violate our sanctions or export control laws, they should receive nothing less than the death penalty – which this denial order would provide.” Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, denied this week that his company was used by the Chinese government to spy. Canada detained Ren’s daughter, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer, on December 1 at the request of US authorities investigating an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade US sanctions against Iran. For its part, ZTE agreed last year to pay a US$1 billion fine to the United States that had been imposed because the company breached a US embargo on trade with Iran. Huawei founder on why he joined the Chinese Communist Party As part of the agreement, the US lifted a ban in place since April that prevented ZTE from buying the US components it heavily relies on to make smartphones and other devices.