Meanwhile, a pro-CCP-based Chinese newspaper report published on Sunday (June 23rd) had also revealed that Beijing might add FedEx in its hit-list of foreign companies operating in China as an act of retaliation against Trump's Huawei ban.
Now, the company said in a public statement that it "is a transportation company, not a law enforcement agency".
In the lawsuit filed in the US District Court in the District of Columbia, FedEx claimed that department's latest measures to restrict the business activities of US companies with Huawei "place an unreasonable burden on FedEx to police the millions of shipments that transit our network every day".
"Parcel returned by FedEx, due USA government issue with Huawei and China government".
Initially, FedEx claimed the smartphone had been "mistakenly returned" to the shipper but David Canavan, the regional chief operating officer at FedEx Express Europe, told PCMag that a FedEx employee saw the package contained a Huawei product, had "a panic attack of sorts" and chose to return the package. Our relationship with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and our relationships with all of our customers in China are important to us. The U.S. government deems Huawei a security risk due to Chinese law requiring domestic companies to comply with intelligence work.
FedEx said in a statement Monday that the US Export Administration Regulations "violate common carriers' rights" by making delivery companies liable for shipments that may violate US restrictions. All problems can be cited to the company's trade ban by the USA earlier last month.
FedEx says it faces substantial penalties - criminal penalties of up to $1 million and civil penalties of $300,000 per violation.
The Chinese company said it would review its ties to FedEx following the incident.
The action follows the recent story of FedEx refusing to ship a Huawei smartphone from one private individual to another because it thought it might get into trouble with the government.
Back in May, two parcels sent via FedEx destined for Huawei addresses in Asia were diverted to the United States.
The lawsuit doesn't mention Huawei, but it was filed after a string of disputes between FedEx and Huawei that may be connected to United States export control laws.
After PCMag posted an article about the incident, FedEx made a public apology to the tech site, citing "operational error" as the cause of the return.
"We have not yet reviewed the complaint, but nevertheless look forward to defending Commerce's role in protecting USA national security", a Commerce Department spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email.