Rubio says administration short-sighted with Chinese telecom negotiations

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is concerned that U.S. is giving up national security for temporary relief.
6:04 | 05/23/18

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Transcript for Rubio says administration short-sighted with Chinese telecom negotiations
Thanks for watching ABC news I'm Alan Rogan and here with senator Marco Rubio we're going to talk about the administration's. Dealings with DTE senator Maria you have been a big critic so far of the administration's negotiations with the Chinese Telecom companies -- why are you. So critical yet. Will Osama and other sources in the administration degree with me and I think the president child agrees with me. The CTE is not just a phone company. Number one they violated the US sanctions they got hit with a billion dollar fine. And they were told they had to fire employees they paid a fine but didn't fire the employees are given bonuses than they tried to cover it up. So then they got hit with a second penalty which is no access to these chips. Now we're throwing a lifeline after violating our sanctions twice and trying to cover it up by basically offering them the same DO they violated the first time. But the bigger problem as the AT and Walt way and these other Telecom companies they are act of espionage tools of the Chinese Government. And not only do they directly do it but they also embed in the technology bait and a cell phones. Under the label of other companies. That are made by GTE and and that is there's hardware that can be used to spy on us. And third and and and memory equally important is. Telecom and 52 in particular is the space the entire China wants to dominate and that's when he for sentry at our expense but now buyout and evading us. But by stealing our secrets and putting our companies out of business in the process and ZT is a total of that so we should not be rewarding them and we should not be including it in any. Broader trade deal. Why do you think this administration is giving up so much leverage. While I think there's some in the administration that are looking for a short term the wrong. That may be reduces the trade deficit by a little bit that makes no structural changes and avoids a trade war. I'm looking at it differently. I'm saying CT a separate that should be dealt with what it is national security threat. And on trade it shouldn't be a short term deal this is perhaps our last opportunity to make a structural change. To the relationship between the US and China I think in a couple years it'll be too late in the B well on the way to dominating the world that arts grants that's on exaggeration. Isn't just for condit's when you say that they've been restricted from accessing this chips intact and at the seven year ban correct their prime and without it they can't. Domestically manufactured in this not to stands virtually every major Chinese Telecom. Who also spy and I bet but we should be looking at them as well terms of those transfers but we should certainly not be letting up on CTE. ET lied and they covered it up and make our hot and then instead of firing people the response to fire they give them bonuses. And now we're gonna reward as part of a broader trade deal I just think it sets a terrible precedent. And yet another example how China ought maneuvers the US at the negotiating table. Patrice up president Hans remarks just an hour ago where he said that some of the things he's willing to impose on GTE. In exchange for they are buying more of our products. Are fine and changes to the board of directors I have a feeling that you don't think that would be best we already did. I mean we find them already built a billion dollars is nothing for a company backed by the Chinese Government though happily pay that in exchange for continuing to spied. And as far as that sporting directors that was the deal the first time they would fire the people responsible for violating sanctions. They didn't fired them they actually gave them bonuses so we're basically saying. We're gonna give you the same to you violated the first time. And by the way you can keep spying I don't I don't that's not the right approach. Any concerns about the setting a precedent what can congress do what should congress I think congress can pass a law and I believe we can pass that with a veto proof majority. That wouldn't sanctions ET the potentially other companies that are doing the same I think it's important Chinese Government now that in our system of government we have our congressional branch. And it has the power to impose sanctions even if the president tries to veto it right I believe we have a supermajority. Vito proof supermajority. To impose sanctions on CT I haven't I've yet to meet and member of the senate disagrees and on the session it's anarchist and Holland introduced bill today that passed out of committee that would prevent the president from imposing sanctions unilaterally. Do you think that's where to stop an end are you going to be introducing anything we are we're working on other ways to do that I support with senator Ben Holland and it's a good start might be able to add to it later on by the way that measure passed with a voice spoke in opposition. And I think it's a message. How strongly members of congress feel it GTE should be separate from the trade deal gone anywhere mixed. And what appetite do you think senate leaders here congressional leaders in both chambers have for passing this sort of built well let me just say this I can't think there are more important each. I really can't and the broader scheme of things do you relationship between the US and China will define the century. What happens between these two countries will determine with its one for center looks like what it's about for our children and grandchildren. So we should take it that seriously congressional leaders know full well what I know about CT. And they should be as a firm about it as as I am and I believe there are saw speaker scientists say that and and I but I believe others what was wrong. That's question that administration as you mentioned there are some people who do not share what the president seems to be singing about GTE and willing to ease up on them. Why do you think the administration is sending such mixed messages and does that weaken their position in negotiations to be out here. Talking so publicly about it bar where for a republic for an open society so we don't like China we have debates in the open and makes us stronger in hand. I think there are voices in the administration. Who are couple in particular who believes that we should get short term deal. And it's all about avoiding a trade war and they buy a couple million dollar a couple of hundred billion dollars more a year product that's a win. But there are others who understand that what's at stake here is much more than just that. That there China's more than happy to buy more agricultural products if they can dominate. That ten or twelve high tech fields that they want to dominate the torn for section because they intend to do that anyway. They attended by more agriculture from a city where they they need to feed themselves. But they don't care about dominating map but they want to dominate its aerospace and Biotech and five G all these technologies that will define century. And their plane people in the administration know it's a bad idea to make that trade and hopefully those horses were ultimately prevail. Consider me a thank you so much. Everybody thinks so much for watching keep it here on ABC news lives.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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