Trump effectively bans Huawei with national security order

An executive order signed by Trump on Wednesday effectively bans China-based Huawei.

Óscar Gutiérrez/Techhnews

US President Donald Trump has effectively banned Chinese networking giant Huawei by signing an executive order that declares foreign adversary threats to communications networks, technology, and services a national emergency.

The order, called Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain, prevents foreign involvement in the nation’s carrier networks and comes on the heels of rumors that Trump would be banning Huawei this week.

“The executive order prohibits transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary whenever the secretary of commerce determines that a transaction would pose a threat to national security,” the Department of Commerce said in a statement.

The order follows the US government leveling a 10-count indictment alleging that Huawei conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile and subsequently obstructed justice, in addition to a separate 13-count indictment against the company and its CFO Meng Wanzhou.

The Trump administration has also reportedly been leaning on allies to ban Huawei due to the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government.

The Australian government banned Huawei in August last year.

The Department of Commerce will issue regulations to implement Trump’s order within 150 days.

In judging whether a foreign company’s involvement is a threat to national security, the secretary of commerce will consult with the attorney general; the secretaries of Treasury, State, Defense, and Homeland Security; the US trade representative; the director of national intelligence; the administrator of general services; the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and the heads of other appropriate agencies.

All of the above will report to the president in a year on whether the order’s actions are sufficient and should continue. 

Before then, the secretary of commerce is required to submit a report to Congress on the national emergency cited in the order, with the director of national intelligence to produce an assessment within 40 days. The secretary of Homeland Security is also required to prepare a written evaluation of hardware, software, and services vulnerabilities that could threaten US national security within 80 days.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai welcomed the move, pointing to threats from “certain foreign companies’ equipment and services.”

“Protecting America’s communications networks is vital to our national, economic, and personal security,” Pai said. “This is a significant step toward securing America’s networks.”

Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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