Huawei Ban Looming After Trump Signs Executive Order

Article By : Dylan McGrath

The Executive Order bars U.S. companies from using information and communications technology made by firms deemed to pose a threat to national

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency, banning U.S. companies from using information and communications technology made by companies deemed to pose a threat to national security.

The order would appear to ban companies from buying equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies, which has come under fire for suspected ties to the Chinese government that raise the specter of espionage. Government officials have successfully urged U.S. carriers not to rely on Huawei equipment for building out their 5G infrastructures.

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U.S. intelligence agencies view Huawei as a security risk and have alleged that the company is controlled in part by the Chinese government. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly accused Huawei of receiving funding from China's intelligence agencies. Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations that it is controlled by the Chinese government.

Some U.S. lawmakers, including Virginia Senator Mark Warner — vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee — have suggested that no Chinese company is completely independent of the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party.

Last August, Trump signed into a law a bill banning U.S. government agencies from using equipment made by Huawei or ZTE Corp.

Huawei sign

Because the U.S. government has largely been successful in deterring U.S. carriers from using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, the short-term impact on the infrastructure market is expected to be limited, according to Francis Sideco, a vice president with market research firm IHS Markit.

"It doesn't change the landscape as it stands now," Sideco said in an interview with EE Times. "Whether it's good or bad for any one entity, it doesn't change the current state. What it will mean going forward, I really don't know."

The order is likely to have a detrimental effect on ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and China over a new trade deal. The world's two largest economies have been trading tariff increases in the midst of a trade war that began last year. Stock markets in both countries — which have been reacting volatility to the progress of the talks — are likely to be rattled.

Trump's order bans any firm under U.S. jurisdiction from buying information and communications equipment or services manufactured or supplied by entities controlled or subject to the direction of a foreign adversary. It also bans such transactions determined to pose "undue risk of sabotage or subversion" of information and communications technology or services in the U.S.

The order directs U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — in conjunction with several other cabinet members — to publish within 150 days rules for the implementation of the ban.

"Foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, which store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services, in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people," the order reads.

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