Trump may use executive order to ban Huawei, ZTE purchases

President Donald Trump may be ready to sign a new executive order.

Joe Raedle/Techhnews

The White House may issue an executive order early next year that limits purchases in the US from two of China’s largest telecommunications equipment makers.

President Donald Trump is considering an executive order that would limit US wireless carriers and other companies from purchasing network gear from foreign companies that pose national security risks, such as China’s ZTE and Huawei, Reuters reported Thursday.

The executive order has been developing for over eight months and may be issued in January, according to Reuters, citing unnamed sources in the administration and telecom industry.

The White House, ZTE and Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both ZTE and Huawei have come under US government scrutiny for working with the Chinese government and potentially using their equipment to spy on Americans. In a separate but related incident, Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng was detained in Canada in early December and faces extradition to the US over claims of violating US sanctions by doing business with Iran.

Although an upcoming executive order may not name Huawei or ZTE specifically, Commerce Department officials would interpret it as if it’s directed at network equipment made by the two companies, according to Reuters.

In August, Trump signed a bill that prohibits the US government and its contractors from buying certain telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from ZTE, Huawei and a handful of other Chinese communications companies. 

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