A bipartisan group of senators urged Trump administration officials in a letter dated today to ban the use of inverter equipment made by China-based Huawei from the U.S. electric grid, citing the same cybersecurity concerns that led Congress to block Huawei network equipment from the U.S. market because of firm’s alleged links to Chinese intelligence services.

The letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen raises general concerns about threats posed by Huawei products to energy infrastructure.

“Our Federal government should consider a ban on the use of Huawei inverters in the United States and work with state and local regulators to raise awareness and mitigate potential threats,” the senators wrote. They also asked Perry and Nielsen to work with independent power producers and electricity distributors nation-wide toward the same goal.

The senators said the Chinese firm is the world’s largest maker of inverters, which often are used in control systems with solar or wind turbine generating systems.

Signing the letter were Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., ranking member of the committee. Also signing were James Risch, R-Idaho, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Angus King, I-Maine, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.