Even as the United States attempts to revive trade talks with Beijing, President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday securing the information and communications technology and services supply chain, which effectively banned the importation of telecom equipment from Huawei Technologies, although it did not name the Chinese telecom giant.
“President Trump’s decision sends a clear message that the U.S. will do what it takes to secure our communications networks,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “The Executive Order will help ensure that our foreign adversaries do not compromise the security of our networks or undermine our core values, including our freedom from unlawful surveillance and respect for intellectual property. I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to protect the security of our networks.”
The order was necessary, the president said, because “foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people.”
As a result, also on Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List,” which bans them from buying parts from U.S. companies without government approval.
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, applauded the placement of the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer on the Entity List.
“This is a necessary step to prevent the use of communications equipment that poses a threat to the United States. As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I stand ready to work with the administration and stakeholders to protect our national security and win the race to 5G,” Wicker said in a prepared text.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Fox News that the move was based on the increased connectivity 5G will bring. “We’re moving into a 5G environment, which will connect everything to everything, the so-called Internet of Things. So as everything becomes interconnected it creates more risk because if someone does something untoward to those systems it could disrupt everything,” he said.
Trump’s executive order said that although an open investment climate is good for the economy, “such openness must be balanced by the need to protect our country against critical national security threats.”