Trump may use executive order to ban Huawei, ZTE purchases

Andrew Cummings
December 28, 2018

Bloomberg reports, via unnamed sources, that the White House is preparing an executive order that could result in usa companies being banned from using telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

In particular, the executive order would instruct the Commerce Department to block U.S. companies from buying Huawei and ZTE equipment that "pose significant national security risks".

Reuters notes that the order doesn't plan to specifically call out Huawei and ZTE and that it would "invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act", a law that grants the president the authority to regulate any commerce that could pose a national security threat to the U.S.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the UK would look to its allies

The president would issue the order declaring a national emergency as early as in January, Reuters reported.

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

The move is likely to heavily impact Huawei and ZTE which Washington accuses of working for the Chinese state, alleging their equipment can be used to spy on Americans.

It would come as the United States works on its strategy to roll out 5G wireless networks.

Some countries abuse and use the issue of national security without any evidence, politicise normal scientific and technological exchanges with unwarranted charges, and set up various obstacles and restrictions.

Both Huawei and ZTE rebuked the allegations, with Huawei saying it is aware of United States "government activities" aimed at curbing its business in the United States market.

While the big USA wireless companies have cut ties with Huawei in particular, small rural carriers have relied on Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be less expensive. Huawei has said that it is still actively participating in 5G trials or receiving bids from companies in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.

"We've got to look at what partners such as Australia and the USA are doing in order to ensure that they have the maximum security of that 5G network and we've got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, that the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way".

It would cost US$800 million to US$1 billion for all RWA members to replace their Huawei and ZTE equipment, Bennet said. When looking for bids in 2010 for its network, it found the cost of Ericsson equipment to be almost four times the cost of Huawei.

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