MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis-based FedEx has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, arguing that export rules are impossible to follow.
The company has had enough of the trade war between the U.S. and China.
As part of the trade war, the Trump administration barred American companies from selling or exporting technology and components to certain Chinese companies.
FedEx argues it should not be required to enforce those federal bans. The CEO called it an "impossible burden."
FedEx said the regulations violate common carriers' rights by making delivery companies liable for shipments that may violate U.S. restrictions.
A company spokesperson added, "FedEx is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency."
The suit comes weeks after the Chinese government launched an investigation into FedEx after a Chinese tech company said FedEx refused to deliver two packages intended for the company's offices in China.
“It potentially puts them on this undesirable list that the Chinese government has been rumored to be putting together,” financial expert Trip Miller said.
Miller says there is a lot at stake with China having the second largest economy in the world and FedEx maintaining a large presence there.
He also says the newly imposed sanctions make FedEx and other shippers responsible for carrying out government regulations instead of sticking to their business.
“It’s very difficult to ask of them when they’ve put these networks globally in place over many decades. They have basically very quickly pivoted and changed their focus away from execution and delivery to literally making sure that someone’s not sending something from point A to point B that someone’s not supposed to,” Miller said.
CEO Fred Smith also said the company’s complaint in DC was not filed in response to the Huawei incidents, but rather 5 new entities being added to the barred list by the United States just last Friday.
The U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement that it has not reviewed the lawsuit FedEx filed against it, but said it looks forward to defending its role in protecting U.S. national security.