Republican U.S. House of Representatives Sue Myrick from North Carolina and Frank Wolf from Virginia said that DLA Piper should consider rethinking its work for the ZTE Corp. from China. The two sent a request to DLA Piper on Thursday and are critics of the human-rights record of China. The letter was timed perfect, in conjunction with the House Intelligence Committee hearing that discussed security threats against U.S. telecommunications networks from products marketed by ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co.
ZTE is located in Shenzhen and it is the fifth-largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. Huawei is the world’s second-largest, behind only Ericsson. The letter said that DLA Piper aided ZTE “as it attempts to circumvent U.S. government concerns” so it can acquire a bigger share of the market in the United States.
“By publicly representing and advising the ZTE Corporation, your firm is indicating it values the retainer of one contract over the legitimate cyber security and supply chain concerns of the United States government,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
The Washington office’s managing partner, Frank Conner, had the letter addressed to him. Also addressed in the letter was Richard Newcomb, the chair of the International Trade practice at the firm. Newcomb was the director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control from 1987 to 2004, according to Reuters.