The United States is preparing to offer loans to developing countries to lure them away from relying on Chinese telecommunications, like Huawei and ZTE.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), usually designed to provide food assistance to poor countries, is leading the effort to offer loans and financial support for countries to buy from Democratic countries, USAID deputy administrator Bonnie Glick told The Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration has long rebuked China’s forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft as two of a handful of pillars in pushing for a comprehensive trade deal with the world economic superpower.
Africa is a tough sell because Chinese wireless equipment is dominant in the market, per the report.
But Chinese equipment is vulnerable to espionage and its deals might ultimately trap poor countries into sweetheart deals the U.S. has struggled to match, but the countries cannot pay off.
“There’s a lot of fine print,” Glick told the Journal. “Countries are left in a tremendous amount of debt, and China takes over control of national assets.”
The pressure might have been a long-running Trump administration initiative, but Democrats plan to keep it if Biden wins the 2020 presidential election, per the report.
“Discouraging America, our allies and all nations — developing or otherwise — from working with Huawei and ZTE is not just a Republican or Democratic mission,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., told the Journal.