The recommendations are the result of a yearlong probe.
Rogers said that the companies are clearly tied to the Chinese government, and that allowing Huawei and ZTE to provide network equipment and services in America risks confidential consumer information and undermines core national security interests. He said the committee was not concerned about the sales of handsets that make up the bulk of their U.S. businesses, but rather network infrastructure where they have made fewer inroads.
William Plummer, vice president for external affairs for Huawei, said his company, a private entity founded by a former Chinese military engineer, was being victimized because of U.S. government concerns about China's government.
"Huawei is Huawei, Huawei is not China," he told reporters. "My company should not be held hostage to someone's political agenda."
Ahead of the report's release, China's foreign ministry said investment by telecommunications companies is mutually beneficial. "We hope the U.S. will do more to benefit the interests of the two countries, not the opposite," spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Monday.
The bipartisan report could also become fodder for a presidential campaign in which the candidates have been competing in their readiness to clamp down on Chinese trade violations. Republican Mitt Romney, in particular, has made it a key point to get tougher on China by designating it a currency manipulator and fighting abuses such as intellectual property theft.
Rogers said its release had nothing to do with politics, and was motivated by the need to alert U.S. companies of the risks. The committee's top Democrat, C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (Maryland), said U.S. companies should proceed with "their eyes wide open." He cited an estimate from the U.S. Cyber Command that more than $300 billion in U.S. trade secrets was stolen last year.
The committee says it received information from industry experts and current and former Huawei employees suggesting that Huawei, in particular, may be violating U.S. laws. The allegations include immigration violations and an alleged "pattern and practice" of Huawei using pirated software in its U.S. facilities.
Rogers said that information of alleged bribery by Huawei to gain a contract in the United States would be forwarded Tuesday to the FBI, and he was confident it would lead to an investigation. The committee also planned to forward information on allegations of "beaconing" from Huawei equipment to China - that is the unauthorized transfer of information from a computer network.