China has lashed out at the US over its blacklisting of Huawei, accusing it of abusing national security exceptions to global trade rules during a tense meeting at the World Trade Organization.

I am wondering if Huawei has any legal recourse it can take to challenge the U.S. government in court. I am wondering, because it seems like a national security issue and if treated as such I don't think a legal recourse from Huawei is even possible. Is it the case, or is it more complicated than it seems?

1 Answer 1


In order for Huawei to sue in US courts for relief, they would have to overcome the clear statutory basis of the relevant presidential orders. There is no believable story where either Trump or Biden exceeded their statutory and constitutional authority – that is a dead end. Then you might imagine that there could be some treaty to which the US is party, which somehow prohibits blacklisting Huawei. But there is e.g. no US-China free trade treaty. You might think that perhaps there is some WTO rule that prohibits blacklisting. Even if there were, WTO rules are subordinate to US law. The Uruguay Round Agreements Act states that

No provision of any of the Uruguay Round Agreements, nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, that is inconsistent with any law of the United States shall have effect.

So we're back to the fact that Congress passed a law which allows POTUS to make this determination and do what he did (2 presidents did). The statutory authorization is broadly about a national emergency w.r.t. a threat "to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States", not limited to national security.

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